Social Media brought my Diplomatic World Closer

Does anyone even remember getting snail mail? Except for Christmas time, I don’t even remember the last time I got a proper card, or letter in my mailbox. I mean, does one even send out Birthday cards anymore, or is it all just virtual?

I remember snail mail all too well. Growing up, that diplomatic pouch that only arrived at the embassy once a week, was the most exciting day of the week. Usually arriving on a Friday, I hoped and crossed my fingers everyday I would get something from that magical diplomatic bag!  You hoped and prayed you had something from a far away friend that you may have had to say goodbye to the year before, or on a previous posting. You hoped that someone remembered you, and thought of you that week. Sometimes, there was nothing, and you went into the weekend just a little bit more lonely, a little forgotten, and then there were those times that you got a small stack of letters, telling you about a far away life. Those little bits of life that you had scattered around the world were a comfort during the lonely periods of starting over again.

I was right in that transition time, e-mails became a thing when I was in boarding school. It was the first time, I felt I didn’t have to wait or find the right stamp to feel connected. It took a long time, but slowly, I began to reconnect with long forgotten friends from around the world, and found out what happened to old teachers. By the time I connected with Facebook, my whole world, finally became connected! It was such a beautiful experience feeling like my small diplomatic bubble, finally expanded and included all those I met from around the world.

I miss snail mail, but would never trade the connections I have been able to re-establish. As I travel the world, I now visit and connect with friends in other countries. If it weren’t for social media, I am not sure I would have managed to do all that!

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