Monday, November 9, 2009

"If John Keats Had Twittered: Expressions of Love in the Age of Facebook"

In this session of "Food for Thought" Dr. Lollie White and E.D. Kennedy discussed how communication in the form of letter writing used to be the social norm, and how it has been replaced by today's new technology for both young and old. Dr. Lollie White is a large fan of John Keats and described how much he wrote to his love, Fannie Braun, and the efforts he went through to stay in touch with her. Dr. White told about how important it was to her, even today, that she receive a written letter from someone as opposed to an email. Taking the time to handwrite your thoughts to someone, especially a significant other in the form of a love letter, can be so much more special to someone than just sending an email of facebook comment.

Kennedy took over the second half of the talk and gave her view on today's new technology. She has no problem with the many new ways to communicate over larger distances, but prefers letter writing herself. Kennedy does not wish to learn how to use computers and email, and still maintains active communication with old friends in Texas through snail mail. She also talked about how important letter writing was during war time, and how that was her only way to communicate with her husband while he was in the service. He felt sentimental enough about all the letters that she wrote to him, that he saved them all, and now she is able to look back on what she wrote to him so long ago, and regrets not having kept the letters that he wrote back to her.

The speakers polled the students listening throughout the discussion about how they communicate with others these days. Very few actually write letters anymore, and many use facebook. Few students had twitter, but many have used skype before. The speakers had not heard of skype before, and were very interested to learn about a way to video chat with others, even those overseas. I feel that as important as communication is to me, online sources are great for urgent messages that need to get to someone quickly, or random thoughts that are fairly unimportant. After sitting in on this discussion I am somewhat inspired to write a letter to those who are important to me and see what happens...

1 comment:

  1. good report...i thought mrs. kennedy's comments on changes in the mode of communication first rate.