You’ve probably heard (or uttered) a lament about how email killed letters. “We used to send cards,” people will say (probably exaggerating just how much they actually did it, in the same way you remember a bad boyfriend as ‘not that bad.’).
Well, if you’re into the idea that karma’s a bitch, then you can rest easy, because apparently email is also going the way of the dinosaurs. And letters.
I was informed of this by my 15-year-old daughter. I sent her something via email (I forget what exactly, but it was an article link), the same way I’d send it to anyone. I didn’t think about it until several weeks later.
“Did you, um, send me an email?” she asked.
I thought back. “Oh, yeah. A while ago.”
“Why didn’t you text it to me?”
“I don’t know. It didn’t seem like something you needed to know right away.”
She twisted up her pretty face the way she does when something is perplexing. “No one sends emails anymore.”
“What do they send?”
“I don’t know. Texts, I guess.”
“Instagram?” I knew better than to ask, “Facebook?” since I know that Facebook is only for grandmas and cat ladies now and Instagram killed it a year ago.
“Nah, that’s almost over.”
“So what then?”
She shrugged, disinterested. She had no doubts about whether she’d know what the next big wave would be because she knew she’d be out there surfing from one to the next, with no more loyalty to one platform of communication than you’d have to the perfect cresting wave of water. She could enjoy it while it lasted, then catch the next. I admired her ease.
So it’s not letters that are dead, or emails, or Instagram. It’s constancy.