We’re all too familiar with the touching postcards sent between soldiers and their loved ones, nourished with love and fear. As their only form of communication, postcards held as much depth as the human heart could hold. Romanticised by novels and movies, love letters exchanged in a past age was, and is, the ultimate show of love. In fiction, these are portrayed with far more focus and meaning than a romantic text or even a phone call.
So has the power of postcards declined with the rise of technology? If anything, as postcards are a less common mode of communication their power has only increased. As an unconventional form of expression, the meaning behind a postcard would be even stronger.
as postcards are a less common mode of communication their power has only increased
This is not to say that a text is by contrast insufficient. Content is far more valuable than format. Who is to say that the same love, expressed in the same words is of any less value simply because it was typed rather than handwritten? If anything, the rise of technology allows us to be more expressive of love and more communicative. As it is now easier to express our thoughts with quicker ways to share, it enables a more frequent exchange. Whereas previously people had to wait days, even longer in some cases, before receiving a letter, today it can be as quick as a few seconds.
It is easy when looking at our knowledge of postcards and letters in a postcard to glorify the past age in which these were common. The idealisation of love being expressed through notes is tokenistic and undermines the point of them. For soldiers and the people they were separated from, receiving those thoughts through a letter was not what mattered. It was the reminder of those thoughts that mattered. The format of a letter was nothing more than the only way each party could be contacted. So today in a world where contact is easier through various forms, the use of a letter holds much more weight.
the rise of technology allows us to be more expressive of love and more communicative
Today’s love, and our words that accompany them, is just as valuable as the love in the postcards of the past. It is funny that throughout this article I have tied ‘the power of postcards’ to the notion of love. Letters were used for various purposes in the past, formally and informally. It was simply the way to communicate. So while today there is a theme of reducing the value of texts and emails, arguing they are effortless and empty, perhaps that argument can be applied to some letters of the past as well.