Letter writing is more than just a dying art, it has become lost. You can email, IM, text, send messages on Facebook and Myspace and Twitter – why write a letter? There are dozens of reasons, actually, but here are my top 7 picks for why it is still worth it to write real letters.
1. More Personal
Without question, handwritten letters are more personal. You can really say what you feel. You will think more about what you are writing as well, plus it gives you time to consider how best to word what you want to say. Done right, a handwritten letter can be a work of art.
2. Longer Lasting
Letters make memories. I have letters to me written by the Better Half, from my best friends, from my parents, all saved away in a locked box that I enjoy opening every so often, so I can read through them. Sure, you can save emails as well, you can even print them out, but not even hard copies are quite as tangible as a handwritten letter.
3. More Deliberate
Have you ever dashed off an email in anger or excitement and sent it off without thinking twice – and then lived to regret it? It's happened to all of us – but generally only with email, and rarely with handwritten letters. What you say and how you say it are both more deliberate, you have more time to think about whether or not you should be sending your letter as well.
4. More Romantic
Now, of course this only applies if you are writing a letter to someone you like or someone you love, to a crush or a date or a spouse. A letter isn't romantic if you're writing to your mom, but you get my meaning. It's so much sweeter than an email.
5. More Personalized
Speaking of which, it's so easy to CC or BCC emails to dozens of other people. That's not personalized. Emails have a tendency to become generic, but handwritten letters rarely do, unless you're doing it on purpose, as with a Christmas newsletter or something. When you write a letter, it is personalized for the recipient. Odds are you won't be writing the exact same thing to someone else.
6. It Takes Time
By sending someone a handwritten letter, they will know that you are thinking of them. More than that, they will have proof that you took the time to sit down and pen them a real, live letter. Sometimes, that simple gesture can mean the world to someone else.
7. It Encourages a Connection
Because of that, handwritten letters create definite connections between sender and recipient. You are bound by the written word. This is especially true if the recipient decides to write you back. Do you remember the days of pen pals, how exciting that was? You were connected to someone from somewhere else, you were slowly but surely getting to know someone else. These days, well, it's all about sending an email in seconds flat.
I love writing letters. How about you? Do you miss the excitement of receiving letters in the mail?
Top Photo Credit: Linda Cronin