Thursday, 22 October 2020

Is Letter Writing Dead?

Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels
We now truly live in an electronic age. At our disposal, we have smartphones, tablets, computers, and telephones to communicate with people all over the world. In an instant, we can make a call, send a message, email, share a file or photo to the most distant part of the earth. 

It is little wonder that people rarely send a letter to family or friends, other than perhaps greetings cards for special occasions. With the time it takes to create and post a letter plus the postage cost, it is easy to opt for an electronic option.

Letters Mean More

When we do receive a letter, it is probably more special and meaningful than the same words contained in an email. We can appreciate the extra effort in writing and posting it. Another advantage is that we are more likely to keep a letter and look at it in the future rather than an electronic message.

There is also the advantage of a letter in that it can be written on special paper to give even more prestige to it. If written by hand, a fountain pen too can give that extra appeal to the reader, as well as the writer. Some send letters in decorated envelopes and a wax seal to make it more special. There certainly is a variety of options with a letter which are not available through electronic communications.

Fewer Misunderstandings

How often have you sent a text message or email and then found it has been misunderstood? Because it is a quick method to communicate, we often fail to spot errors or the dreaded auto spell has changed a word to give an entirely different meaning to our thoughts. There is also the possibility that if we're upset, we don't take time to think rationally before firing off an email, which once sent is too late to retract. A letter slows us down, we can pick it up, read it, think about it and if necessary bin it. 

Of course, you could apply the principle of waiting for a while before sending an electronic message, but in reality, how likely is that? In my experience not likely at all. 

Never Go Back

Whilst we are never likely to go back to writing letters the way we used to, they can play an important part in our lives and those to whom we send them. There are times when we may write to encourage, to console or to thank, and a letter can have a far more powerful effect. So before you decide that letter writing is truly dead, please think about times you can write a letter and when that arises to get out your pen, paper and envelopes and take a few minutes to write. 

Do you still write letters? When was the last time you wrote to someone? Please feel to express your thoughts by leaving a comment in the box below.

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