I love handwritten letters. They possess an air of grace and elegance that soar higher than text messages. Yet, in this age of instant communication, the existence of letter writing is waning. Becoming almost… extinct.
Letter writing has always been a part of my life; it may be because of my position overseas. In my early years, I had pen pals. Playmates who I meet in person annually, and wrote to monthly. Now I have correspondents, friends I want to keep up with through mail, despite my busy schedule.
Mailbox-checking became a regular thing. For correspondents, the mailbox is no longer the box of doom, carrying bills and subscriptions. Now, it’s the window to another person’s world. Something to look forward to.
My love for classics fueled my love for letters. All across literature, letters are stitched into the plots. They play vital roles in Jane Austen’s stories; messages carrying news that twist the storyline in another direction. Depending on the book, letters bring a whiff of romance, a spoon of intrigue, or a dash of mystery that is only revealed when opened. And with so many mentions of mail, one can’t help thinking of what it would like to send a letter. Or better, receive one.
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Letters are much more endearing than texts. It shows that the person took the time to write out recent events, instead of shooting off a quick email. They carry much more meaning that way.
Nothing can quite describe a handwritten message. You see the person on the page. You see them in their handwriting. You notice the different sizes and fonts of their letters, depending on the emotions they’re relating.
None of this can be captured quite as fully through a text message.
Letters are keepsakes, memories to cling to. These notes can be reread over and over again, without losing their value because a letter is a fragment of a person. A piece of their heart.
Technology has shaped the world in many ways. It has made it easier and faster to communicate with people. In terms of school and work, instant communication has improved efficiency on many levels. But I don’t think technology needs to control every aspect of our life, especially our interaction with people. Writing letters decreases our dependency on technology and adds more value to our connections.
Letter writing has impacted my idea of communication. It has influenced my views on the world as a whole. Handwritten letters are quickly fading away, enveloped by the domain of instant communication. With all kinds of communication at our fingertips, many people don’t see the need for letter writing.
But really, the art of letter writing possesses great value. It goes deeper than sharpening penmanship skills. Letter-writing prompts us to use our time purposefully. It gives our message a more personal feel. And when we dispatch a letter, we remind the receiver of their worth.
Penmen don’t have the delete button when writing by hand, which prompts them to choose their words wisely. It causes writers to slow down and really process their feelings onto the page.
Thinking before acting is a value I don’t see enough of in the world today.
In a universe of instant communication, such a lovely thing as handwritten letters can flourish. The art of letter writing is only lost if we don’t regain it.
BONUS! list of items to personalize your letters:
- The handwritten letter itself
- A physical picture of yourself (if you feel comfortable)
- Pressed flowers
- Art or calligraphy
- Small jewelry
- Stickers (classic)
- Thin notebook
- Cut-out magazine articles or pictures
- Small cross stitch
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