In this age of high speed internet and rapid electronic communication, it’s only natural that we (and the younger generations) have become so dependent on technology. Everything is so readily available at our fingertips that it’s hard to even think about the days before internet, when the time between sending and receiving a letter could take weeks or even months, depending on the distance it was travelling. As much as these new modes of communication (e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) have been beneficial for business and educational purposes, granting us immediate access to information and all areas of the world within minutes, it has made us all a bit “lazy”. We’ve become less motivated to take the extra time to sit down and write a letter in our own hand writing, and hesitant to pick up a book or encyclopedia to find the information we are looking for. We are always looking for the quickest shortcut, the easiest solution. Maybe if we can remind ourselves of the benefits of writing a hand written letter, and doing things “the old school way” once in a while, we will be more enticed to do so. Here are a few of the benefits that bringing back the traditional pen to paper form of communication will offer.
It Makes Us Write More Meaningful Letters
Taking the time to communicate via pen and paper forces us to slow things down a bit, which (believe it or not) is actually a good thing. It trains us to be more patient and allows us to think more carefully about what we are saying. When writing a letter, the natural tendency is to put more thought into it, to allow for more description and detail. Basically, hand writing allows for more substantial communication, rather than short and distracted abbreviated thoughts, sent absent mindedly while multi-tasking on your computer or cellular device. If we allow these forms of rapid communication to completely take over, what will happen to the literacy of the younger generations?
It Limits Impulsive Rants with Widespread Reach and Detrimental Impacts
So often nowadays things are sent out into the oblivion that is the internet impulsively, and are regretted shortly thereafter. It’s so easy to type an emotional rant and hit send; the timeframe for thinking things through is simply just not there. The problem is, once you’ve sent those words out into the stratosphere, they are always there to haunt you in some capacity. You can delete until your heart’s content, but you never know who your post/e-mail has reached or where it might be saved. So, putting these words into a letter will still have the same impact on the targeted audience, but less collateral damage (including your reputation!) Plus, chances are by the time you have hand written the letter, you will have calmed down and changed your mind about a few nasty words anyway.
It Encourages Learning, Literacy and Creativity in Children.
While it is important to encourage communication with their peers, there is a lot to protect our kids from on the internet today. Why not encourage them to form pen pal relationships? This will allow them to communicate with peers, learn more about the people and geographic places they are writing to, and most importantly, it is very safe. Who knows, it’s such a lost art these days, they may even see it as a cool, “different” way to communicate, especially if they have their own personalized stationery to write on!
There is something sort of exciting about checking the mailbox and finding a hand written envelope addressed to you. The organic transfer of information brings back a sort of comfort and nostalgia. Why not write a letter to your cousin overseas to see how she’s doing? She’ll be thrilled to receive it, you just might have to be a bit patient for her response. Let’s bring back the art of writing!