Vintage Social Media: Paper-based Friend Request

Yesterday I recieved a letter in the mail. This may sound like a normal day, but I never get anything in the mail, except for bills or suggestions that right now is the best time to sell my house. This letter wasn’t your ordinary correspondance from a distant aunt, but a friend request from someone I’ve never met, nor heard of, from another province.

It seems he found me on an art website that I registered to years ago, and since he was intrigued with my profile, he decided to type a letter to me. His letter was slightly cryptic, stating that he prefers to use paper letters instead of regular social media streams, he also said that he stopped using the internet because he ‘found it tiresome’. Writing a physical letter lets him ‘collect some thoughts’ and ‘leaves a trace’.

At first I thought it was a complete scam. Sure, I visit his ‘art’ website and suddenly my computer is hit with 500 popup windows, or I lose control of my keyboard to his wishes or something. But after reading more of the letter I was too curious not to go to the website. (Turns out it really was just a small art site for him.)

This whole concept of letter writing got me thinking. What if this is a time of complete turn around from the normal life of social media and instant computer connection? I know I haven’t written an actual letter in years; everything has been digital, so a personal letter got my attention. I could also see how this could be moved into a marketing campaign. I was so taken in by this unconventional method of connection that I risked harm to my computer to access the website. Has social marketing gone far enough away from letter writing that it is now a unique method? Could a personalized letter gain a friend in another media? Would you write a letter to connect to a person you don’t know or a customer you’ve never met? Could you add a social network friend request in the actual written letter and bring those people into your network if they had no intention to before?

I just may write him back and see what happens.

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