Back in the days of letter writing I had an aunt who avidly read the newspaper. Whenever she sent letters (which weren’t fascinating reads, as I recall) she would enclose newspaper clippings that she was sure the recipient would be fascinated by or would benefit from reading. A tiny lady with a big purse, if you saw her in person, it was guaranteed that she had a clipping or two in that purse just for you.
As teenagers and young adults, my sister and I would roll our eyes at this aunt’s complete lack of understanding of what any of us would like to read. Now, of course, we find ourselves a bit more like this aunt than we’d like to admit. An Echo of the past.
Do we clip articles out of the newspaper to share with family and friends? Of course not. We know better than that. But….
My siblings and I have group email chains starting with a link that one has sent the rest, leading to retaliatory links sent in return, leading to related topics, links and commentary.
A bit nerdy, you say. Absolutely. But that’s only because they aren’t on social media. Everyone on social media seems to be a descendent of my aunt.
I’m just as guilty. When I see an article, essay, or photo that speaks to me or finally explains what some news/political event was really about, I post it, sure that all my Facebook friends will see it and feel the same way. A few friends click LIKE out of loyalty or based on the headline, a couple will actually read it and comment, and the rest are likely scrolling past rolling their eyes, wondering what on earth I was thinking. (Yep, that’s what I do sometimes. Guilty.)
Newspaper clipping equivalents abound on Twitter. Link after link after link….
Then there are the bloggers. We create our own newspaper clipping’s worth of thoughts and send them out, saying, “Here, read this. This is just what you need to know.”
We often say that our older relatives wouldn’t know what to do with the technology of this modern age. But something tells me my aunt would feel right at home.