Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Jordan: Has Technology Killed Our Romanticism?

Letters from Friends by D Sharon Pruitt

Computers and technology play an important role in our everyday lives. One blogger from Jordan remembers the romanticism of getting a letter in the mail and declares on her blog: “I hate electronics.”

Umm Omar sums up (Ar) her reasons as follows:

من جهـه لإنها قتلت فينا مشاعر وأحاسيس مارح يعرفها الجيل الجاي ,, مارح يعرف الشوق واللهفه والإنتظار اللي كنا نستمتع فيه أيام ما كانت الرسائل على الورق,, تقعد أسبوع بحاله تفكر ايش بدك تكتب بمكتوبك,,و تغير اللي كتبته الف مره
وتتردد وإنت رايح ع مكتب البوسطه,, وبعد ما تحطه,, ترسم في خيالك الري أكشن ع الوش اللي رح يستلمه…
On the one hand, it has killed our emotions – feelings the next generation will never know. They will never understand the longing and impatience we used to enjoy on the days in which letters were written on paper. You had to spend an entire week thinking about what you wanted to write in your letter, and change what you had written a thousand times. You would procrastinate as you were on your way to the post office and after you mail your letter, you would allow your imagination to run wild figuring out the reaction on the receiver's face.

She continues:

يا ترى رح يضحكه هالشي اللي بعتتله إياه,, يا ترى أوفيته حقه من كلام وإلا لأء,,, يا ترى رح يزعل مني وما يرد ع المكتوب,,يا ترى ,, يا ترى
You will think: Will what I had just sent make him laugh? Have I done justice with my words or no…Will he get angry and not respond to my letter… will he ..
يضل هالشي يلاخم فيك أيام وأيام,, وتروح ع مكتب البوسطه أكثر من مره ,, وأحيانن مرتين وثلاث بنفس اليوم
ت تستلم مجرد ورقه,, عليها كل شي بتتأمله بحياتك,, عليها ضحكتك السريه,, عليها قصه صغيره مابعرفها غيرك,, إنكتبت بس ل إلك,,
بس عشانك,,
بتضمها ,.,
بتشمها,, ,,
بتخليك بعالم غير هالعالم,, مع إنها دوبك ورقه فولسكاب
You will continue worrying and thinking for days and days and you will return to the post office more than once, and sometimes two or three times on the same day until you receive all that you have hoped for on a piece of paper. You will secretly smile to yourself when you get a letter with a short story, which no one else knows, and which was written just for you…
Just for you…
You hug it …
You smell it …
It transfers you to another world…although it was just a piece of paper.
أيام ,,, وأيام وإنت فرحان فيها وحاسس حالك بدك توقف الناس اللي بالشارع ت تحكيلهم عن فرحتك,, وترجع فيك الدوامه من جديد,, وتبلش بدك تكتب مكتوب
For days and days, you would remain happy and you would feel like you would want to stop the people on the street and tell them about your happiness. You would repeat the cycle again, and start writing another letter …

One reader, Haitham Al Sheeshany responds:

متفق معك أن التكنولوجيا اختزلت الكثير الكثير من المشاعر الجميلة الصادقة.
طبعا ً هي زادت من سعة الانتشار و سهلته أيضا ً.

إيجابيات و سلبيات كل مسألة كغيرها :)

I agree with you that technology has curtailed a lot of the beautiful and genuine feelings. Of course, it has also increased mass circulation and made it easier.

There are a lot of pros and cons, just like with everything else :)

Reader Ashraf Mohidden adds:

التكنولوجيا وعلى رأسها النت أصبحت أساس التواصل في العلاقات الاجتماعية في هذه الأيام .

أما المشاعر والأحاسيس الجميلة التي أصبح من الممكن إيصالها للطرف الآخر بدون عناء ومن خلال كبسة زر إن جاز التعبير فهي دلالة هذا العصر المتسارع في كل شيء مما جعلها كمطاعم الوجبات السريعه :)

Technology, led by the internet, has become the cornerstone of social relations nowadays.
As for beautiful feelings and emotions, they can now be sent without a lot of trouble and at the click of a button. This is a testimony to the fast paced life we live, which has made such emotions like fast food meals :)

And last but not least, White Freedom notes:

التكنولوجيا ضيعت علينا معنى التواصل حتى في الاعياد بدل ماتتصلي وتباركي صرنا نرسل رسالة من الجوال وخلاص
وحتى الرد عن طريق الجوال هههههههههههه عن جد صرنا في عالم ثاني
وما اومك بس التكنولوجيا تنفع في اشياء ثانية لكن سوء الاستخدام هو الذي جعلها ( مكروهه وفاقدة للمعنى

Technology has made us lose the real meaning of connecting with each other even during festivities. Instead of calling and congratulating others, we now send text messages from our mobile phones and that's it. Also, we respond to messages with other text messages. The world has really changed!
I don't blame you. Technology is useful for other things and its abuse has made it hated and lose its meaning.

Has technology really robbed us of romanticism? Please join the debate in our comments section.

Photo Credit:
D Sharon Pruitt


  • Amira, delicious post ! I completely share Umm Omar’s nostalgy.

  • Nye Walker

    For those who grew up shy, as I did, technology has been a doorway into socializing. It was much easier for me to “meet” people and friends online. To this day, I still prefer a quick text message on my mobile phone to actually talking on the phone. That is just how I converse. I never seem to find the right words when speaking face to face, but somehow it is easier in an email or chatting.

    It is a new paradigm of conversation, one that has made my life easier. I welcome the change, but if easy face to face conversation (or written letters) came naturally to me I would probably feel as the author does.

  • There are many pros and cons to be weighed regarding technology. But, when you really get down to it, most of the cons have to do with what sentimental attachment one generation will always have toward the ways of the past in light of the ways of the future. Presently, we are giving way to a generation that will likely never know what it is like to smell a piece of paper and get a sense of highly anticipated personal contact from it, just the same as our generation may not fully appreciate the ability to ‘speak’ one’s mind and have one’s mind be immediately responded to.

    The impulse to say and do things that do no more than please our cherished friends is being overtaken by the emerging imperative to make real efforts at discussion and discernment of what truly is best to be said and done. We may be entering into a new age of sincerity, the likes of which might prove our previous notions of “romanticism” to be anything but sincere.

    I, for one, have never been much for writing letters, sending greeting cards or even picking up the phone. I am infamous among my family and friends for being the most perpetually estranged. It is not so much that I don’t care to stay in touch. It’s just that those in my proximity… those about the things that I am immediately about in a given circumstance, always seem to take priority over trying to maintain relationships with those who are not. But now, due to conveniences afforded by internet social networks and the like, I have reconnected with friends and family that I might otherwise have expected to never see or hear from again. Of course, in many cases, I have but rediscovered the reason why we did not maintain contact… That, after all of the superficial fluffiness and social niceties are exchanged, there really isn’t much else. Even so, the verbal patting and petting of small talk is necessary and can be all the more easily and expediently dispensed with online, leaving more time for the higher pursuits of purpose, direction and service to others.

    But, no matter what the technology of the day may be, it is the mentality of a people that truly determines whether it will be a boon or a bane. Currently, I am living in Japan and when I go to a public place or social center wherein technology has brought many together, most will be using that same technology to avoid personal contact with those who are actually in their physical company in deference to a call, chat or email/text exchange with those who are not. Perhaps it is not so different from the passing generation which has had so much time and so many words for mailing letters, yet little to spare for the mail carrier.

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.