I was working in my office the other day and a student came by, looking for my office mate. She wasn't in, and he had a long story to tell me about why he was going to miss class the next day.
"Why don't you leave her a note," I suggested, pointing to the handy pad of paper and the pen dangling by a piece of yarn, that we keep on the office door.
He seemed a little thrown by the suggestion. He ripped off a sheet of paper and started to write, then balled it up. Then he ripped another sheet and started again. He paused. He crossed out some stuff. He seemed restless, impatient. This was all too much!
"You know what?" he said. "I'll just send her an e-mail." Then he whipped out his phone, flipped it open, and tap-tapped a quick text message. It all took about 5 seconds, and then the phone beeped with a satisfied message sent sound.
And then he was gone, phone and all. The pad of paper still hung on the door, and the ball point pen dangled sadly next to it. The art of leaving notes, it seems, has gone the way of letters and long, idle at-home-from-the-comfort-of-your-kitchen phone calls and, just maybe, paper and pens, too.