Topic: Opinions on Society
In Nairobi, Kenya, the boys of Starehe Boys Centre have a unique method of communicating with their female friends from other girls’ schools. Texting? Facebook? Twitter? Nope, their way of communication is through letter writing!
In Starehe Boys’ Centre, mobile phones are not prohibited within the school grounds. They do however have ICT hubs, smart boards and internet access yet these facilities are solely for academic research. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are also prohibited.
Instead of sulking about it, the boys have developed a much more meaningful way of communicating with their female friends, through letter writing. These letters are not just any ordinary letters. They take on a mix of calligraphic fonts, artistic drawings and carefully penned words and emotions from the heart. These beautiful letters are gladly received by the girls of Loreto Msongari girls’ school.
”I am really excited to receive a letter from one of my friends in Starehe,” says Tabitha.
“I think it’s better to write letters in school than to have phones. It is a mode of communication that everyone can afford and it’s what everyone looks forward to when you go to high school,” she says.
One would imagine that letter-writing is ancient and backward but many students in Kenya actually enjoy this method and describe it as a real blast from the past.
It seems that amongst the quick development of technology and evolving of smart phones, the traditional method of letter writing to convey our heartfelt emotions and words has faded into the distance. This meaningful method has instead evolved into text messaging, Whatsapp, and social media platforms, all of which lack the sentimental value letter writing once had. Technology might have brought us to greater heights, but what is it really doing to our human relations? Is technology really bringing us closer to one another or is it distancing us from one another? Perhaps this issue is one worthy of consideration in this ever-growing society.
-Vanessa Loh (4 Loyalty)