How Do Online Pen Pal Networks Work?
Those who studied in the elementary and high school grades in the years shortly after 1945 will remember that teacher in those era encourages students to write to other students in some countries abroad and established a pen pal relationships with them. The general feeling of the students of that era was of wonderment, the realization that there are other students in the world experiencing the joy of learning. Today, with the advent of the internet, students no longer send postal letters to make pen pals. Online Pen Pal Networks are the best vehicles for making pen pals. They are thousands of times faster than the regular postal correspondence.
There is that perennial question of whether they work as a healthy system of making pen pals or just a writing exercise with out any meaning or consequence. To consider this question, the issue on the proper use of pen pal websites must be first addressed. Since the users are children, there should be a concern on the possible content contained in pen pal websites. Children using pen pal websites must be taught some of the basics of social networking. Parents must examine the websites that the children are using and check for inappropriate contents. Any breach in decency and good morals must immediately warrant a black mark on the websites containing inappropriate contents. There should be some kind of privacy in the registration processes with limitations on disclosing personal information to other websites or to third parties.
Making pen pals in any form is good for children and joining pen pal networks is an excellent way for the youth to foster friendships with other people here and abroad. The sharing of culture between pen pals of different countries stirs a lot of interests in the impressionable minds of the youth. If the child has difficulties in communicating or has some reading and writing disorder like dyslexia, it is advisable not to immediately allow him to join online Pen Pal networks where the pace might be too much for the less actively minded individuals. Encourage some friends or relatives to be pen pals with the special child to serve as a practice pen pals. It is a known fact that children with reading disorders are likely to recover if consistently allowed to communicate with persons they consider as trusted friends. The writing processes and the exchanges of experiences and stories promote social interaction between the participants leading the way to expanding their interest in many subjects.
Teachers must be constantly on the watch for the children under their tutelage who use online Pen Pal networks. Parents often ask advice from teachers and other parents regarding the effects on the children who actively engaged in communicating with pen pals. As far as psychological health is concerned, it is almost universally accepted that having pen pals is beneficial to the development of a child's personality. The best advice a teacher can give to the parents of children that have pals in the internet is for the children to develop their writing skills in the process. It is not healthy for children to write short cuts or shortened misspelled words while writing to pen pals. These retard literary ability and will not help in the child's development. Children should be encouraged to write words in the traditional way and not in the shortcut style used by many youths of today. In the internet, exchanges of pictures and drawings are possible and are normally being done. These practices should be cultivated to improve skills in art and photography and orient the children's interests to cultural endeavors.