The Loop of Fine Wire

Postcard packs his bags

The following trifle has kept growing since I started it years ago, prior to the currently-popular social media platforms. In a year or two, it could probably be written again with Instagram the one slipping out of town unnoticed. Who can foresee the future? But I hate to envision one without postcards.

In the days before VHS, back when teenagers complained of mimeograph stains on their fingers and not sore thumb syndrome, Adlai Stevenson said it well: “Technology, while adding daily to our physical ease, throws daily another loop of fine wire round our souls.”

Postcard had a good life, traveling the world and sharing news and beautiful images to mailboxes everywhere, until the BMOC (Bigger Means of Communication) came on the block.

His only friend was Letters — he came enveloped in "Trust Me."

Telegram was rushed up the stairs, its recipient swooning. Postcard got left in the hall — they'd read him later.

Haughty Telex had a cool name and taunted Postcard!

Fax came along and teased Postcard for being slow.

Then IMs got into the act, too. But other swift paramours would replace even them and kept after Postcard.

E-mails, running in packs, sneered, "Dog-eared relic with a silly stamp — look at all our shiny attachments! Bling Bling!"

Phone cameras pushed poor Postcard into a post office box, saying, "We were taken at the mall two minutes ago. Your motel parking lot image was so 1959!" (LOL!)

“Out my way, old timer,” sneered Voice Mail, but later Kid Text swaggered into town and scared him away.

Postcard hid in the racks where no one looks at him anyway.

After a short time, Kid Text became sidekick to Facebook, but even Facebook couldn’t keep up with that fast crowd, the Social Media Gang: Twitter, Skype and Tumblr.

Instagram said, “Ha! We were taken two minutes ago to LOOK like 1959!”

Postcard packed his bags, and though he smiled when he heard the cool kids didn’t like Facebook anymore, he felt a little bad when he stepped over My Space slumped dozing on the ground next to the last payphone in town, gripping his Palm Pilot.

(The phone book they didn’t even bother to replace years ago.)

Postcard left town — no forwarding address — except for those who knew him well

Kirby Neumann-Rea writes letters and postcards every week. Don’t even ask him how Instagram works.

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