What Is The Different Between Pen Friendship and Social Media?


If we go in reverse and look at the years before the internet in our lives, we will realize how friendship used to work without the digital ease and convenience. There were no smart phones, communication and instant messaging applications, emails or chat rooms. It was a time when friendship meant making a real time effort. A very common phenomenon of the internet-less era was making pen pals or having pen friendships. These were people who would be in writing contact with each other through letters and postal mails and did not necessarily met in person.

Pen Friendship – the real motivation behind it:

The very concept of having a pen friend was devised with the aim of increasing one’s knowledge in terms of reading and writing in foreign languages by making friends with people living in different countries and regions. It was a great way to find out about diverse cultures, literature and make friends at the same time. having a pen friend meant that you would write a physical letter to him or her and in return will get the reply in the same form of writing. You may or may not have met the pen friend in real life. Pen pals may remain friends for a long time or a short period depending upon the level of interests both parties have in the process. Till the time letters kept rolling in, the friendship remained alive.

Advent of the Social Media Age:

Now fast forwarding this time into the digital era of information and technology, internet has become a common household utility in almost all parts of the world. Use of smart devices and computers is as common as using a spoon and fork in the house. A similar concept that sprung out, through this proliferation of internet and its use, is social network websites or social media. Networks like facebook, tweeter, linkedin and many more have become a household name. People from all walks of life and all age groups have joined one or more of these social networks to remain in contact with their friends. These networks have made life easier as friends can share different types of information, views, articles, pictures, videos and other forms of media with each other in a quick and easier manner. You also have the option of making new friends through such medium of social networking that have similar interests, likes and associations.

Transformation of Pen Friendship:

With this shift in the form and types of friendships, internet has given the traditional pen friendship a new look. The social media networks offer various pen pal communities, where you can get to know people from all over the world, and make friends with them. However, instead of the sending each other letter or memos through conventional postal mail, the correspondence is done through email, instant messaging and social media websites.

Final Word:

Hence we see that the technology driven concept of the social media networking is not much different from the traditional pen friendship methods. However, the social media and internet has actually transformed this old tradition into a modern form of pen friendship. This method of keeping up with pen pals is much faster, cheaper, convenient and easy.