With the explosion of social media and smart phones, handwritten letters seem almost obsolete. Why write letters that will take days to arrive at its destination when you can send an message l that the recipient will get in seconds? I have to admit that it’s more practical to email your professor about an assignment or text message your friend to meet you at the mall.
I didn’t mean writing letters in that sense because it’s obviously much more practical to message a friend to ask what they were doing that night (though I still prefer phone calls). I mean writing a personal letter just to update the person on what’s going on in your life and attach a memorabilia. It’s just much more personal when you send something tangible.
That tangibility matters! I don’t save all of my email and messages, but I’ve saved every single letter that I’ve ever received, even if I didn’t receive it in the mail. Receiving a “How are you doing?” text message just doesn’t feel as memorable as a receiving a letter, long or short, out of the blue. It takes a long time to write and send a letter so the person had to take the time to do so. For me, nothing feels better thank knowing someone out there is thinking about you.
Back in middle school I volunteered with a group of students that collected necessities, food and toiletries, for the American soldiers deployed in Iraq. I didn’t know any of the soldiers personally but we all sent them handwritten letters of appreciation. They expressed their own gratitude by sending a letter back to the school. Those little things just make me smile, you know?
Not many people I know like to write letters these days but my close friends and I still exchange letters every once in a while. I’m currently writing one to my friend who goes to university in Long Beach and another friend of mine back in San Diego. I know it seems pretty pointless since they’re not too far but I just love writing letters to people, especially unexpected ones.
Postage isn’t cheap so that’s a downside but I still think it’s a nice gesture to send a letter to someone.
Forget the world for a little while and just write a letter.