So, here’s how it works: after you submit the form in this blog’s ask, I will review it and find someone whose specifications seem to match your own. After that, I will contact both of you either through tumblr if you chose to submit under a username or via email if you chose to submit anonymously or ask for your match to be sent through email. You and your partner are welcome to exchange letters via snail mail if you both discuss it and choose to, but I want this to be open to those who would prefer email instead (for any number of reasons - convenience, saving money on postage, living with parents who would be concerned about receiving things from someone on the internet, etc). Either way, it’s your prerogative.
Name: whatever you like to be called
Gender: that you identify with; if you are genderqueer, that is a-ok
What you’re looking for in a pen pal: This could be anything from age ranges to only wanting to be matched with someone from a different country to personality attributes. I would, however, prefer that you not ask for very specific interests or fandoms (e.g. “I want someone who loves the Hunger Games as much as I do!” or “I’d like to write to another cross-stitching enthusiast”) because I feel like it’s already easy to find specific communities across tumblr (and the internet as a whole, for that matter) in which you could track down someone you’d like to speak to about this or that. You know?
I hope this is the start of some beautiful friendships!
Dear Tumblr user,
I’ve always liked the idea of writing letters. I know that many people are only interested in writing the old fashioned way, but I don’t consider letters written through email to be any less legitimate just because they’re sent electronically. People seem to associate email with short, meaningless messages, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I just appreciate the epistolary format: having a little space all your own to talk without interruption, divulge thoughts and feelings in a space that feels safe, feeling like someone is sharing a small piece of themselves just for you, if only in the span of a few pages. I like my regular internet friendships for what they are and those friendships are just as real as any other type, but there’s a certain kind of intimacy that I imagine exists in pen pal relationships that I think must be nice.
I say “must” be nice because I’ve never managed to find a real pen pal. I’ve made a couple of attempts through various websites but they’ve always fallen flat. I actually think that part of that might come from the fact that I was always looking at profiles to try and figure out whether or not we were going to be friends before ever exchanging a word, and while I’d never begrudge anyone wanting to write to someone with common interests, I feel like there might be something especially exciting about building up a friendship completely from scratch.
So, here’s what this blog is about: you fill out a simple form, and I will match you with someone else as a pen pal. I feel like I’m good at getting a sense of people based on things as simple as their typing style, but even if you’re not compatible, maybe you’ll get the chance to talk to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to. And maybe the match won’t work out, but that’s okay; you’re quite welcome to submit more than once.
So, would you like to write a letter? I’ll have the form up shortly.
P.S. If you like the idea of this, please spread the word!