Communication Technology Only Adds to Backlog of Unanswered Letters

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 31, 2003 | Go to article overview

Communication Technology Only Adds to Backlog of Unanswered Letters


Byline: Shelley Carlson

I could be at serious risk of being apprehended by the cliche police, but I can't help observing that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Well, maybe not exactly the same, but pretty darn similar.

Once upon a time, not really all that long ago, I remember having a drawer where I filed all my correspondence. I tried to ignore it until it piled up, and either I answered the letters or my friends erased me from their address books, concluding I had ascended to the big Dead Letter Office in the sky.

Inevitably, when my to-be-answered file began to overflow its confines, I dashed off missives to those dear friends I would hate to lose.

The trouble was that some of those cherished pen pals must have had way too much time on their hands, because they sat right down and answered my answer and almost before I had time to pat myself on the back. Their responses were in my mailbox and my letter file again was building up to the reproachable point.

Even with this - to my procrastinating mind - overzealous approach to friendly correspondence, there was a somewhat reasonable turnaround time.

Unfortunately, like so many things, I never appreciated that while I could.

Because now we have the wonderful world of e-mail.

And while I would be the first to claim that I would never want to give up its benefits, this form of communication is somewhat of a mixed blessing.

Most of my kids live across the country from me; my youngest daughter lives in South America in a fairly remote area.

Letters took at least two weeks to reach her and even if she answered them immediately, it was another two weeks for it to get back to me.

Technology has made it possible for us to have virtual conversations via e-mail.

If there is something I need answered, I don't have to wait a month.

My memory being almost an oxymoron, by that time I probably would've forgotten the question.

Of course, being able to keep up with all the far-flung grandchildren is, as the TV commercial says, priceless.

I never literally "write" letters anymore.

I quite possibly may have forgotten how to write on paper with an actual pen.

If I have any friends left who aren't online, they probably assume I'm dead.

But just as the paper file of letters could sometimes be a pain, the buildup of unanswered e-mails also can be a downer.

My electronic desktop is so littered with them, it could be mistaken for an unusual, albeit messy, screensaver.

While the almost instantaneous turnaround can be gratifying, it also has a downside.

I always could opt to not go near my old paper file of letters, thus avoiding the guilt of its reproach.

But if I need to go online for any reason, I can't ignore all those judgmental e-mails staring at me. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Communication Technology Only Adds to Backlog of Unanswered Letters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.