I had several pen-pals back in my childhood days. Those were the times of aerogrammes and postmen.
I remember back then when I got back from school every day, I'd wait by the doorway anticipating the ring of the postmen bicycle bell, which of course didn't happen very often.
I'd probably get a reply once every month or two. But thinking back, it does feel like I had a lot of time.
Life wasn't in a hurry.
When I started working, I still made pen-pals but this time, it was the email. I had some disposable income then and we even exchanged gifts by mail.
I remember once coming home to a box on the floor just outside the door. The errant postmen just threw it in and the chocolate in it were mostly reduced to a melted mess. But they still tasted so good.
Next came the blog.
I made many more friends through blogging. The exchange wasn't as long as letters or emails but they were current and relevant. But blogging soon took a dive and weren't as active anymore.
Life has gone into a much faster pace and ironically, there is now not as much time as we had before. There is just not enough of it.
Now? It's messaging.
I made several good friends recently via italki in my pursuit of learning new languages. And the messaging apps that I use almost every day are WeChat with my Chinese and Taiwanese friends, and Kakao with my Korean friends.
It is real-time and it is really like they are there with me, sometimes yakking away way into the night.
What's next? Holograms?