Alongside the demise of newspapers comes the demise of sending newspaper clippings. Back in the day when newspapers were read instead of scrolled through, articles were often cut out and sent across miles to loved ones. Back in the day when newspapers were staffed with local talent, a mother in say Atlanta, might send a newspaper clipping to a daughter in say Michigan, sharing a bit of local color, reaching out to say, “Here, I thought this might make you laugh.” Or, “What do you think of this!”
But in today’s online world, scissors and gem clips are irrelevant. One keystroke is all it takes to share. Yet still I clip. Halfway through an article I think my son or daughter may like I’m up and across the room to get the scissors. I cut carefully around the edges, imagining each click and union of scissor blades bringing us a touch closer. Will the one on jobs irritate? Will the one on Jews in Montana already have been received, read and deleted before I even find a stamp? Still I cut and send.
It would be easy to send hyperlinks to the article about the subway photographers my daughter and I saw last summer. They said they worked for the MTA and were photographing riders for subway yearbook. Turns out, I now read, those two cute guys “from NYU” are instigators for Improv Everywhere.
A front page article profiled 94-year old Carmen Herrera, a Cuban born artist who, after six decades of “very private painting,” sold her first work at 89. Will this article dismay my daughter — Oy! six decades in obscurity? Or will she see the other side? I send this because I want her to know that the creative spirit is ageless; she can look forward to years of painting, photographing and sketching.
What about the article on becoming a manager? Or the interview with Jeffrey Swartz, spirited president and C.E.O of Timberland Company? Both kids might enjoy those. Who gets which? Should I even bother? So much easier just to send a hyperlink. They can peruse and delete at will.
But still I clip and send. Because it’s less about the articles and more about connecting, letting my grown up kids know I’m thinking about them. In the sending of these articles I hope add to their world, even if that world is changing faster than the time it takes to hit “Send.”