Teen Pen Pal Project
by Lexi, Day-Riverside Branch
I think it’s safe to say, we are all experiencing some form of digital-fatigue. We’ve been communicating digitally for a long time now, from virtual schooling to relying on facetime to safely see family and friends.
If you are craving social interaction that isn’t through a screen, I’d like to recommend the Library’s Teen Pen Pal project. Teens ages 12-17 can sign up to be paired with a pen pal based on their ages and interests. Don’t worry about stamps, you will simply pick up and drop off your letters at any City Library branch. We’ll send it to where it needs to go through our own sweet system of intra-library branch mail. You’ll get an email when a new letter arrives and viola! You’re going back in time and participating in old-timey communication. We’ve already had quite a few teens sign up, so you will get matched quickly to a pen pal we think you’ll click with.
Why write physical letters? There are tons of reasons. You can add personalized art. You can meet new friends across the city in a safe way. And, most of all, writing letters is a classy friend’s game.
Steve Topfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University actually did a study examining the effects of writing letters on happiness, life satisfaction and depression. A sample of 219 undergraduate students wrote letters and the study revealed that, the more letter writing people did, the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction. (Read more about the study here).
So why not? Sign up for a pen pal here!
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