I have a dear friend with whom I often exchange emails.
In our most recent exchange, I mentioned that I sometimes imagine our emails are actually quill and paper letters delivered by some medieval courier. My mind’s voice reads each word in some strange accent that harkens back to an old world.
Crazy? Maybe. Maybe not.
There was a time when even casual correspondence was afforded the kind of detailed attention that all relationships, regardless of their depth, deserved.
Before lolspeak and emoticons, we had carefully chosen words that were full of emotion and personality. Misconception and misunderstanding were the exception.
Hand-written letters were an intimate matter between souls where the words of men and women ended careers, established dynasties, altered the course of history, and even caused them to fall in love.
Now, the power words once held has been dispatched in favor of satisfying our impatient nature. We tweet. We pulse. We text. We snap chat. Instead of expressing myself fully so that you will not only understand my intent but hear the heart behind my words, I am asked to condense the entirety of my thoughts into 140 characters… or less.
I fear we do ourselves a disservice.
I often encourage people to speak at length when commenting on my posts. While I don’t mind the occasional succinct response, my belief is the longer, the better. Words serve to flesh out the skeletal framework of a person’s personality. As you share more, the details of who you are come more into focus. And ultimately it is that complete picture that I most desire to see.