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The benefits of finding online penpals

Updated on August 11, 2016
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Did you ever have a penpal or e-pal?

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Did you ever have a penpal? When I was young, I made penpals in many ways, including through schools (in middle school, my teacher connected us to a group of students in South Korea to keep in touch with) and my adoption agency (there was a directory of adoptees interested in meeting and becoming penpals with other adoptees around the nation). I still keep in contact with two of mine; it was a great experience that I would never give up.

Now that I'm older, I can see that there can be much more to being a penpal than just sending letters back and forth. E-pals may not send snail mail, but they can experience many benefits of meeting others on the Internet.

  • Meet new people - This is the obvious one. If you just moved to a new area, you can perhaps find a network of locals who are like you. Maybe you don't like anyone where you live, so you can talk with people online who share your interests and match your personality. Singles of course try to find love online, and sometimes do. There is no such thing as a geographical barrier with the Internet. You can make friends from across the world from the comfort of home.
  • Learn about a different culture - With so many Internet users around the world, there are infinite opportunities to contact people in places where life is completely different than anything you know. Of course, inhabitants know all about it, and would often be happy to expound upon the way of life they are familiar with. You can ask questions and find out things you wanted to know but couldn't find in books.
  • Learn and practice a new language - I'm trying to improve my German skills, so I created a profile on a site where people from around the world can join and meet other people for whatever reasons. Thousands of people have joined from Germany, so it's a great opportunity for them to practice English while I practice German. Using the language, of course, is the best way to learn it.
  • Make connections - Perhaps you will be traveling to a different country. Meeting people from that country can be helpful so you can know of a good place to start touring, the best things to do, and so on.
  • Get academic benefits - You might need to write a report about a certain country or culture, and you might be required to interview someone firsthand. Foreign penpals are great for this.

I have to say I really enjoy the sites I've joined so far. The network features potential penpals from numerous countries (pages worth of them), and their profiles can show a picture, age, nation, interests, what they are looking for, and a short bio. Others I have looked at are listed in the Additional Resources below.

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    • Guardian1 profile image

      Guardian1 

      9 years ago

      I'm sitting her watching B movies from the memorial day movie marathon, so it's nice to get something informative in the mix. That's why I'm reading hubs. I really like this. I think it's a great idea. Real, long term friendships can be creatd this way. Nice hub

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR

      glassvisage 

      10 years ago from Northern California

      So true... the convenience of the internet makes penpalling much better, and cheaper!

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      10 years ago from London

      This is a really nice hub. I used to love having pen-pals, and since the advent of the internet, I've been able to make many new friends abroad. And it's so much easier communicating across the globe on the internet than waiting for paper letters to crawl along via international postal systems.

    • profile image

      GARCIA8287 

      10 years ago

      I have a penpal I meet online 14 years ago, and she is wonderful friend in my life.

      Great article

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 

      10 years ago from NW Indiana

      Good article here. Penpals are fun and that is also a big plus. C.S. Alexis

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR

      glassvisage 

      10 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for stopping by, ladies! I'm glad that you enjoyed this Hub. I also had many penpals, and though I don't speak to them all anymore, it's worth keeping in touch with one or two!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi, I had a dozen of penpals but they all faded away for a time until one remain. She's from Germany! She's now married and has two kids and we still keep in touch. And it has been like more than 20 years now. There is indeed beauty in friendships found in being penpals. :)

      -Michelle Simtoco

    • kashish mehta profile image

      kashish mehta 

      10 years ago from jaipur

      thanks for advice

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      10 years ago

      I had a penpal when I was a little girl before the internet and I used to love to get the letters in the mail from my friend from across the world. Thanks for bringing back such an enjoyable memory.

    • glassvisage profile imageAUTHOR

      glassvisage 

      10 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks everyone! The Internet can be a great way to keep in touch with old friends too, as you said, Aya :)

    • kashish mehta profile image

      kashish mehta 

      10 years ago from jaipur

      hi Glassvisage , nice hub the suggessions u have given are very practicle n easy 2 apply and more over works efffectively g8t going

    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 

      10 years ago

      Very interesting hub. I enjoyed and agreed. ~ eddie

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      10 years ago from The Ozarks

      Glassvisage, great hub! My daughter recently started corresponding by email with my friend's daughter who lives in Canada. They knew each other when they were younger in Taiwan and later the US, but now the friendship has been renewed.

    • rodney southern profile image

      rodney southern 

      10 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      WOnderful Hub and I agree totally. Great resources!

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