By Aimee Rhodd
Today is Letter Writing Day, which makes it a perfect time to encourage you all to, well, write a letter. No, not an email, not a social media post, not a direct message, but a bonafide, legit, handwritten letter. No type of digital communication beats an actual piece of paper that you send through the mail or fold up in a really neat way and deliver by hand.
I can see that you need some more convincing so here are some reasons why old-fashioned letter writing deserves a comeback.
They demand attention
The very reason emails and social media messages exist is to be a quick read. They’re supposed to be used for short, fleeting bits of information. “Hi, Mom. I wanted to tell you that we got your gift. Thanks.” Or “Hey, girl! Let’s have coffee. I’ll buy.” They are not meant for personal, deep thoughts. They’re not even meant for in-depth life updates. For that reason, if you want to send someone something you truly want them to pay attention to, drink in and react to, writing a letter is the way to go. The simple fact that it is a tangible piece of paper they can hold in their hands makes it more important to the recipient than a digital message.
You can make them fancy
If you didn’t know, stationery still exists and a lot of it is super cute (oh, hey, there’s a bunch to choose from at Gordmans!). Not only that, but when was the last time you wrote anything in cursive with a great pen? Do you even remember what that feels like? There’s something about it that’s almost artsy. Like you get to be part of the letter you’re writing because that handwriting is part of you. And then the person you wrote the letter gets a part of you, too. Deep, right? So much better than Arial on a white screen. Even if you can’t possibly commit to writing an entire letter, a handwritten note on fancy paper is way more special than a boring, blah email.
This one is easy. Emails get deleted. Rarely, if ever, does someone print out an email, put it in a memory box and keep forever. Handwritten letters? Those are special. Those people hold on to and read over and over again through the years. That’s just cool.
They say, “Hey, you matter”
A text or social post says, “Let’s make this conversation snappy.” It may not even use complete words or sentences (“BTW leaving at 4 TTYL”). An email says, “I have more to say than I could in a text, but I still need to make this quick because I’ve got things to do.” A letter, though…a letter says, “You are worth sitting down for more than five minutes, finding nice paper, writing by hand with a pen, starting over if I mess up, putting actual thought into what I say and using actual words and complete sentences to say it. You matter to me.”
They’re like a journal, but not
If you journal, which you totally should do, you know how great it feels to pour out all that stuff inside of you onto a piece of paper. It’s cleansing and freeing. And when you journal, you think. A lot. Something about it makes you think about things you never would’ve taken the time to think about otherwise. Letter writing does the same thing. Even if you’re writing a long email, you still feel rushed because of the very nature of digital communication. But a handwritten letter makes you stop, think and share deep, genuine thoughts and feelings.
You guys, just try it. Try writing a handwritten letter to someone you care about. Maybe tuck it into a gift you mail out, or make writing more letters a New Year’s resolution. I promise it will be completely worth the hand cramp.