You Don’t Need a Smartphone to Stay in Touch
I really like my gadgets, especially my phone and my laptop. I love using social media to keep in touch with friends and make plans. I also like to keep up with my favourite celebrities. I’m not sure they like being stalked as much as I enjoy keeping track of their glamorous lives, but it’s another entertaining way to stay connected. I know I’m very lucky to have the technology that makes all of this possible.
Chana, the teenager we sponsor in Africa, doesn’t have a smartphone so we communicate the old-fashioned way: ink to paper, letter to mailbox. I like breaking out of my high-tech comfort zone to write an actual letter because I want Chana to know I care. I still type it on my laptop because it’s faster than writing by hand and a lot easier to read! I put more thought into the letters I write to Chana than the texts and emails I send to friends. My reward comes when I get a reply in the mail.
It’s more than just opening a letter with my name on it though. Reading Chana’s letters and finding out about her life…well, it makes me feel we have a connection, even though our lives are very different and our letters have to be translated. The connection I feel with her touches my heart. It’s also a good feeling to be able to send a few small gifts I think Chana and her friends would enjoy. It doesn’t take much effort and the shopping part is fun! The gifts we send are small, practical and good for sharing. The kind of items my friends and I might take for granted, which sometimes makes me feel like I’m the one living a gIamorous life. But what’s really exciting is imagining the smile on Chana’s face when the mail finally arrives with something specially for her.
A version of this article appears in the Summer 2015 issue of Childview.