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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stay in Touch

Social media has revolutionized the way that we all interact with one another. Do you remember the last time that you sent someone a letter or spent an hour on a real (without the help of a system like Skype) long-distance phone call catching up with a friend who moved? Social media forms like Facebook and Twitter let us stay in touch instantly, which is wonderful, but sometimes I still the personal connection that less efficient and more expensive methods seemed to offer. You might argue that photos and videos and status updates are personal, and you're right, but they become even more personal when I'm talking on the phone with a friend and we discuss what we've been seeing on Facebook, or get into the details of certain status updates.

I'd like to share with you an awesome idea that my cousin Rachel brought to the table a few years ago. We are members of a very large family (our parents are 2 siblings in a family of 20 children) that is spread out all over Canada. We don't get to see each other very often, but keep track of everyone's 'going's on' through Facebook. To allow us to share things in a different way, Rachel proposed A Book.

It's a journal that we are allowed to keep for 2 weeks and fill with whatever we want- photos, postcard snippets, collages of old magazines and newspapers, doodles, etc. The front of the book contains the mailing addresses of 5 female cousins (I'm in Ontario, Janie and Alyssa are in Saskatchewan, Rachel and Amanda are in British Columbia) and after our 2 week session is up, we mail The Book along to the next cousin in line to receive it, and the cycle continues. We share advice, stories, tales of woe, frustration, sadness, victory, changes, and life in general. This can be done for family members, close friends who have moved away from each other, groups of people who met for a shared experience and then went along their own separate paths again, anything you can think of! It's a wonderful way to share more and develop a stronger sense of connection than online social media can provide.

Talk to any kind of circle of friends that you have and give it a try! You'll need:
- a notebook of some kind
- creative implements like markers, coloured pens, etc to help your imagination run free
- regular visits to the post office
- an open mind and willingness to create

Do any of you already do something like this? If so, I'd love to hear about it in the comments!



  1. what an awesome idea! my family is very tiny but i really like this whole concept. saw your post on etsy and came on over ;-)

  2. While I was growing up, my mother's family passed around a family letter among the 5 siblings and my grandparents. When the package arrived back at your house, you took out your old letter, inserted the latest news, and sent the package on its way. It was a great way to keep up with each other. Your journal idea is even more creative, I love it.

  3. What a cool way to preserve some family history! :)