Wednesday’s Writing Query

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

When’s the last time you sat down to compose a letter?Not a Hallmark card, an actual handwritten letter.

In this day and age of text and email, letter writing ( or snail mail as people like to refer to it) is practically extinct.

Having grown up in a home where thank-you notes were not only expected to be written, but in a timely fashion, I have instilled in my children that a proper handwritten thank you is a sign of appreciation and respect. Whenever they receive a gift, they know the thank-you card will need to follow within an acceptable amount of time. It amazes me when parents tell their children that they don’t have to write a thank-you if they verbally said thank-you when receiving a gift. Here is one reason why this form of correspondence is dying.

Twenty some odd years ago we didn’t have computers for correspondence, so we either had to pick up the phone or send a letter. I recall almost losing contact with some close friends in college purely because one had atrocious handwriting which made reading her letters impossible, the other was simply not a writer and would send pages upon pages of drivel that were pure torture to read. It was the occasional phone call that salvaged the friendships and kept them going.

Similarly, phone calls are even becoming less popular with the emergence of such social networking as facebook, myspace, etc. Will letter writing, phone calling, and even e-mailing become a thing of the past entirely? What is the next form of communication that is going to come and replace these social networks? It seems to me that with the all the technological advances of our day and age, that taking time out of our daily lives to sit down and be conscious and thoughtful of contacting another person is becoming less common.

With all this being said, think of three people who you care about, and write them a handwritten letter today. Everyone loves to get mail written by a loved one amidst their stack of bills, scads of coupon books, and jury duty notices. Most likely, this act of thoughtfulness will be returned to you in your own mailbox soon!


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