Enita Akpojevwe: Reviving Old Fashioned Communication Styles

Look at how small the world has shrunk; the size of the mobile device in your hands. The world has never being smaller than it is today, a global village indeed. Communication from eons ago has never being this easy nor accessible at a given time to all and sundry. The internet is one of the best things to have happened to mankind with just a click you are chatting with a relative in Hong Kong, streaming a live show on you tube or just taking a degree course in a school far away.

We have all caught up in the new wave of social media and networking which advantages include; inexpensive means of socializing, enhancement of real life social skills, creation of positive self- image, source of self-promotion, means to promote business, address important issues and has no limitations of physical boundaries. The wonders of technology cuts across all spheres fast tracking our lives in every way but then it has always struck me as odd that with better communication available to all why not we have better relationships, allies or businesses? What is the quality of relationship these days? Is it weighed by the frequency of chats, e-mails and pings or the number of “online friends”`? Has easy communication made it difficult for us to value our friendships and relationships? Are our value systems, cultures and beliefs being transferred to our off springs by us? All of these are questions we should ask ourselves.

Honestly, it’s hard to tell these days the value we place on our relationships with social media and networking as its peak ;with BBM, linkedin, twitter, Facebook ,Hi5, Badoo, MySpace etc the world at your fingertips but yet real friends are as hard to come by as a honest Nigerian.

However, recent research has shown that participants that use social media to fulfill perceived social needs are typically disappointed. Lonely individuals are drawn to the internet for emotional support but this causes problems as it interferes with “real life socializing” (Source: Wikipedia). Consequently, with all of the merits of social media and networking there are also pitfalls such as social network addiction, privacy issues which can be used for identity theft ,Cyber-Bullying, spreading negative sentiments etc.

Now looking back to my childhood days, friendships were grown and lived beyond communication barriers and distance. Those were experiences we all look back at and cherish; I couldn’t ping my friends but I had so much joy playing “ten-ten” and “suwe” now that’s real life socializing. We were not too busy starring at phone/computer screens to sing native songs and listen to folklore from our parents. There were also episodes of “love letter” writing in schools, it was a big deal then getting a love letter from a crush or not so wanted crush …WOW!!! You would gather your friends together and everyone oohs on every single word and secretly wishes it were them that got a love letter. it was that big a deal.

Thinking of it now, friendships then were tested and trusted. A good friend of mine told me once of how she wrote letters to her cousin in Kano and had to wait for anyone she knew travelling to Kano just to deliver a letter. These days it’s just a ping, face book message or at worse an email away. But I can bet her cousin definitely had much joy reading a much awaited letter than the next Whatsapp/BBM ping u are reading right now.

Don’t get it twisted I love the new innovations in communication technology as much as everyone else out there but truthfully I really miss the old fashioned ways a times and there’s a thrill and something really cute and romantic about writing a letter for instance. It has a tendency to bring you all out, expressing yourself and pouring out your heart to the receiver in more ways than one. You write like it’s your last, living in that moment and your letter travels with envelopes as wings to your loved one.

Communicating in a few seconds is great but a dive in the old ways of hollering could be magical every once in a while. This is an angle to look at your friendships and definitely a good way to spice up your relationship. So my people, unearth those long forgotten writing materials and put some words down to your grannies, mum, dad, siblings, friends, boo, babe or even your boss telling him about that much needed raise you deserve.

Photo Credit: manespeak.com

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Enita Akpojevwe is a Nigerian seeking change and finding her pathway in our beloved country. A Civil Engineer by day whose first love is writing and passion cooking. You can follow me @Akenitta

15 Comments on Enita Akpojevwe: Reviving Old Fashioned Communication Styles
  • yormi December 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    i don’t even understand thiz site

  • Ginika December 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    #GBAM! You slayed this point. Oh how I wish I could just
    tag some of my friends in some of the statements, calling me old
    school and boring for wanting phone calls and text messages instead
    of whatsapping and pinging…mtchew!

  • lorenz December 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Really nice article. It got me thinking about those days
    too. The days when you were particular about the “lyrics” you wrote
    in the letter you sent to the girl you had a crush on. Nothing can
    replace a hand writing, or the smell of that paper. A friend
    recently shown me some from her secondary school days.

  • lorenz December 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Showed me

  • Miriam December 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    And you wonder why folks find it had understanding simply
    grammar this days. Too many unecessary abbreviations, not to talk
    of the syntactic blunder. Now you receive a ping for a message or
    information that totally requires a call. Communication has been
    made super easy I know but every now and then I still can’t
    suppress the craving for the old days. Just a handwritten letter
    (even if the sender’s handwriting is as bad as mine)

  • damepenelope December 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    The thing that annoys me the most is the abbreviation. This
    new generation are going to have spelling problems because they
    neither read nor have the patience to spell anything correctly
    nowadays. I have a young relative with a degree form the UK. I
    cringe anytime i read her FB posts. Spellings are either always
    wrong, and when they seem right, they are abbreviated, so you cant
    really tell. Thanks for this beautiful piece Enitan

  • Agnesy December 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Nice article!.I can remember those days where letter
    writing is the main thing, if you cannot write a letter, your
    haven’t started. Unlike nowadays, where a university graduate
    cannot even write a letter or any write-up without pidgin English
    or even the so-called nonsense abbreviation. I wish this article
    would circulate far better than this, so that people would know
    that social network doesn’t mean we should leave our former means
    of communication. Though social network is good but the initial
    means of communication is cherished because it makes you to be
    conscious of your English, unlike now you can just write in
    abbreviations or in pidgin . Thanks for this your article
    Enita

  • Crayfish December 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Come to think of it… I dunno wat my boyfriend’s
    handwriting looks like :s

    • Ekwitosi December 8, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      @crayfish lol! you better find out before things get serious you would be surprised that it may eventually be a deal breaker!!!

  • NNENNE December 8, 2013 at 1:51 am

    The addiction is real. I think am getting addicted but
    thank God it has never stopped me from living live. Thanks to
    mobile phones. I can network anywhere and not just in front of a
    computer.

  • Funmi Oy. December 8, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I still write letters. I have three wooden boxes full of
    letters I’ve received in return for those I’ve written. I still
    post some, when I can. The others, I hand-deliver or scan and send
    until I can get the hard-copies to the recipients. I write letters
    because I think they are beautiful. But I’m not afraid of change.
    I’m not afraid of allowing old and new forms of communication marry
    for efficiency. I also know language is a fluid phenomenon, it is
    dynamic: it changes, it grows, it moves around and picks up
    influences. I understand this, so, I don’t think it is “wrong” for
    this generation to abbreviate or move around the meanings of words.
    In fact, I’ve found myself admiring the beauty of the flexibility
    of language; how I could say “bad” to mean “extremely good” or
    “sick” to mean “extremely wholesome.” So, let’s no become too
    antagonistic to the evolution of language. The problem, of course,
    arises when people no longer know the difference between formal and
    informal contexts and can no longer probably navigate the two.
    Don’t forget to stay friends with your “offline” friends. Because,
    you could get lost in the maze of the internet and be in contact
    with a thousand people but not be friends with any at all. Social
    media offers a great service – it keeps you in touch with people
    and keeps you updated with snippets of their lives. But that’s it –
    snippets! I once got asked, “why are you not on Facebook? How do
    you stay in touch with your friends?” I replied, “I pick up the
    phone and call my friends or visit them.”

    • Idak December 8, 2013 at 10:33 am

      You are my latest cyber crush,as long as you don’t get
      offended by the fact that I write here in pidgin most of the time.
      I still have cause to write,maybe not as many letters as you but
      loads of cards,notes,etc. Infact, I am a regular at my local post
      office and remain intrigued at how efficient Nigerian post offices
      are. Amongst government agencies,they are the best kept secret. I
      don’t have a problem with the abbreviation thing,just that it makes
      me dizzy. Thanks for the salient points you make. You make sense
      die!

  • ima December 10, 2013 at 5:59 am

    hmmmmm crayfish thats so true,saw my boyfriend’s handwriting on Saturday and i was like “wtf”…..#lips sealed.

  • Kaydee December 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    An interesting read… but you know some times these issues
    are facilitated by growing trend, for instance ppl back home at a
    point where going crazy for Blackberry phones to look cool and to
    ping which I thought was rediculous I never saw blackberry phones
    as good phones anyway (they really aren’t) but hey it sure did
    spread like wild fire, i do benefit from the new era of
    communication though keeping in touch with with my besties from the
    westies. However I do agree with you Enita old fashion means of
    communication has its strengths, it does drive the message home to
    read a hand written letter from someone. Cheers

  • Archie December 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Enita, this is a very nice write-up. My opinion is, both old and new ways of communication is good. The world is dynamic and so is communication patterns- the ways, the medium and style…
    I would rather prefer we remind ourselves that in every form of communication, both the sender and receiver(s) should be on the same page/understanding for the message to be properly conveyed.
    Nice one… Keep it up!

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