Social media: “places” on the Internet where we meet and greet our past, current, and future friends. True, these are electronic platforms, but they are also great ways to meet people who share your passions – including analog letter writing. Perhaps you have enough family members or friends to keep you scribbling away, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to get to know someone new through the mail? Why not combine analog and digital use?
Beyond all the problems that have recently come up with Facebook, it’s a marvelous way to keep in touch with people in far-flung places – and a way to meet others as well. Try doing a search for ‘pen pals’ and see what comes up. There are all sorts of groups out there – ‘For the Love of Pen Pals and Books,’ ‘Pen-Pals International – Friends Forever’ and ‘Snail Mail Pen Pals’ are just a few of the choices. You will need to join most of these groups to be able to read all of the posts, and you’ll probably be working with a moderator who’s set up a variety of rules to keep the group running smoothly. This is also a great way to meet people who want to trade books, stamps, or what-have you.
On Twitter, a search for ‘pen pals’ produces a wealth of choices – how about @SmartPenPals for language exchange, or @Geekgirlpenpals to meet people from all over the world who share your passion for specific movies and/or books? If you have children, check out @PenPals4Kids. Try also searching ‘’letter-writing’, ‘correspondence’, or other terms relating to pen pals, and see what you find!
If you have a blog on Tumblr, check there as well – you can follow blogs such as ‘Language Pen Pals’ ‘Supportive Pen Pals,’ ‘Trans Teen Pen Pals,’ ‘Long Letter Pen Pals’ and a host of other offerings. Tumblr in general is under-rated – it’s a great place for artistic types who want to share, and you’re certain to find others who share specific interests.
If you have a smart phone, why not check to see what pen palling apps are available? While the vast majority of them have been created to allow people to connect electronically, you will find tutorials for how to write a letter, apps for improving handwriting (note that these are mostly aimed at children), and ways to send cards by mail without having to visit the post office.
Are there other social media platforms useful to those who like to write letters? Leave a comment for me, and I’ll research your suggestion!