December 8, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

Chatting is the advanced stage of pen-friendship. In the past letters had been sent, and the sender used to count the days until the letter reaches the recipient and the reply back to the sender. The period involved used to be a difficult one for both the receiver and the sender, who in fact changed places again and again.

Then as the internet entered into our lives, the system of sending letters became obsolete, ignored, rejected, and forgotten. The friendship has now come away from the pen and paper and shifted to the keyboard of the pc and lately on the screen of the mobile phone. In the good old days, even those with bad handwriting used to try to write better while writing a letter. We all never wanted our penfriends to complain or not to like our handwriting. But that period too is over now. We are now used to reading and writing the same. We all now write and read the same fonts and almost the same type of alphabets.

I wonder if we are getting bored by seeing the same fonts and types on our screens. To some extent, I sometimes get bored of seeing the same types of alphabets in every mail. I believe that the handwritten letters were actually not only conveying the written message but were also conveying the inner feelings of the writer. The style, good or bad, of writing used to carry the real feelings. Those feelings actually used to be reserved only for the actual recipient, not for anyone else reading the letter. Interestingly I believe that the feelings hidden in the handwritten letters were always very correctly understood by the recipient.

Unfortunately, the situation has changed now. Our emails and messages do not carry our inner feelings anymore. They convey the words only. Words which are not able to convey the true feelings. Words which are worthless, but become meaningful only when the sender manages to put in the inner thoughts and real feelings. There is no doubt that under such a situation these inner thoughts and real feelings do reach the reader to understand.

Thus a letter written by hand is capable of conveying much more than what actually has been written. But unfortunately, that period has ended. Now letters are no more being written by hand. No pens, no inks, no papers, no envelopes. Even the envelopes used to carry more and deep meanings.

Unfortunately, we have taken out the real feelings from our daily lives. The materialistic way of life has changed everything. It has changed the way of expression. It has changed the way of conveying unwritten messages. Now no one is as before. Everyone appears lacking emotions and feelings. This is because we have taken them out of our lives. This is why present day humans have become too aggressive in their behaviour.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

The emails and electronic messages are the order of the day. Chatting is the latest form of contacting others. But I feel that chatting is too dangerous because it does not give a person time to think properly. Chatting is speed communication, where one responds instantly to others. That leaves less time to think, ultimately leading to great confusion in most of the cases. But this is the order of the day. Like it or not, we have to live with it.

I still have some old letters which I had received from penfriends some 40 years ago. Sometimes I go through them, just to find myself returning back to the 70s. Still, I can recall what I had written in my return letter to those friends. But unfortunately in the present world of chatting, nobody has got anything in hand to re-live the past moments.

The new generation knows chatting and does not know the art of writing letters by hand. I wonder what would be the next form of communication beyond chatting.

I would like to finish this column by listening to “Words” by the Bee Gees.

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile could bring you near to me
Don’t ever let me find you gone
‘Cause that would bring a tear to me
This world has lost its glory
Let’s start a brand new story
Now my love right now there’ll be
No other time and I can show you
How my love
Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I’m here if you should call to me
You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away
You think that I don’t even mean
A single word I say
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away
It’s only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away

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