Before IM or Text Messaging

August 12, 2007 6:14 PM

A note written in class between Wendy Chee and I

click on the image to enlarge it – start on the top-left corner

Before there was instant messaging or text messaging, there was passing a piece of paper back and forth scribbling out a conversation. I found this note whilst cleaning out old boxes in our shed. It was a conversation in a class with one of my best uni friends. I think it was in 1994 – thirteen years ago. Woo. And yeah, I don’t think we paid much attention to the lecture.

Her words are in black, and mine are in blue. We talked about why men are always horny, relationships, her insecurities with her boyfriend who was back in Malaysia while she was here in Perth studying, and random girls in class who we thought were cute. Most of the conversation was carried out on that piece of paper but some of it were spoken. So parts of it that is on paper may seem disjointed because we switched back and forth between the spoken and written forms.

Looking at it really brought back memories. It was crude and you have to be physically close to each other to do it, but you definitely can’t recreate the tangible feel of it with IM or text-messaging. Think I should frame it? :mrgreen:

18 thoughts on “Before IM or Text Messaging

  1. Indra

    Frame it! that’s a priceless memory I reckon. I’ve been contacting my old friends trying to get my hand on any old drawings I did for them (I used to draw for my friends in the past), no luck until now though.

  2. mooiness Post author

    robin: good idea! or at least I’ll laminate it.

    Indra: good luck with your efforts! You can’t get a hold of your friends, or they are always too busy to send it?

    Cherisher: woohoo! three votes for it. 🙂

    blur ting: it was FUN! Heheh. Ah, carefree student days.

  3. Preya

    Gosh–I guess I never gave any thought to how little this occurs in my classroom (I teach high school). Text messaging really is king. However, it might come back in style after the dead zone is implemented (kids won’t be able to use their phones anywhere in the school).

  4. mooiness Post author

    Lupin: yup, good times.

    Preya: I guess passing a note around is easier to get away with in a big lecture theatre rather than a smaller school classroom. The dead zone is a good idea. You do need it in an exam situation after all.

  5. mf

    i used to write letters to my cousin in penang when we were young. then it stopped when we started to hv emails….
    The thrill is about receiving some nice envelopes with those familiar scribblings…
    those were the days =_=

  6. mooiness Post author

    mf: I used to do that too but I stopped not because of emails – it was more because it was getting harder and harder to keep up as you grow older. Writing on paper does take a lot of effort and willpower.

    Though you are correct – hand-written mails are so much more personable.

  7. sourrain


    serious shit.that was ALOT of chatting done.

    I remember in programming class where all of us were seated in front of PCs & half of us spent the whole period just sending messages to each other and bitching about the lecturer. Just a step more technologically advance than paper passing = same results.

    Good old times.

  8. TenthOfMarch

    This reminded me of my friend’s story. He had a crush on this girl and they used to “chat” using the same method in tuition class. It was funny seeing them exchanging papers when the teacher wasn’t looking. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the two of them. Anyway, I think you should frame it up.

  9. girlstar7

    I’m at uni now and despite us being in the digital age, we STILL write notes like this in lectures. It’s more fun than text-messaging and it kills the time during a boring class. I should keep some of them like you have, it brings back a lot of memories! BTW in 1994, I was ten if that makes you feel old 🙂


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