Written and Media by Mary Todd Christian.
Call me old-fashioned, but I love writing letters! Maybe it’s just my love for wordplay, but there is something special about sitting down and reading a note meant for you, especially if it’s written by someone you care about. In our ever-growing tech savvy world, I think many of us can agree that pen and paper are not our go to channels of communication. Even in today’s fast-paced society, I think letter writing still holds an important component in our communication. Here are a few reasons why:
Letter Writing Requires Thought
Opposed to texting or even talking on the phone, letter writing allows the writer to have time to think about the content they are writing. One of the best features when it comes to writing a letter is being able to sit down and process your thoughts before actually putting pen to paper. For someone like myself who is not quick on their feet, writing a letter allows ample time to make sure I am saying exactly what I want to say. If I make a mistake, I can scrap my thought and start over again!
Many schools no longer teach penmanship and cursive, so I would argue letter writing is the closest we can get to practicing our handwriting. Since we are constantly typing on our cellphones or computers, we very rarely get to write, at least for an extended period of time. It’s amazing how out of practice we are when it comes to handwriting, and how few young adults can actually sign their name because of the lack of penmanship classes in schools today. Letter writing is an easy way for us to practice our handwriting, whether in print or cursive.
Unlike a text message or a phone call, a letter is a tangible piece of communication. We can actually hold on to the pen and paper, and we can read the letters we have received over and over again without the fear of them being deleted or forgotten. We also have more control in how we communicate with our letters. There’s no frustration spurred from autocorrect or accidentally hitting send when we are not finished with our thought.
Letters can be kept forever! One of my favorite activities is reading letters friends and family have sent me over the years. I have letters I have kept since I was a child, and many of them are sentimental because the people who wrote them are no longer living. I keep a note in my Bible written by my grandma (I called her “Nanny”) that she wrote to me while I was at summer camp one year. Even though she’s no longer alive, I still hold on to my Nanny’s memory through her note and her personality still shines through her handwriting. I also have letters my boyfriend (now fiance) and I wrote to each other over the first summer we were apart. I look forward to re-reading those letters ten years from now.
Grab a pen and some paper and get to writing. Write a note to a friend telling them how much you appreciate them or send a thank you note to someone! The content doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be from you. Though it may be a lost art, letter writing will never go out of style.