5 Reasons You Should Still Write and Send Letters
In a society where we are in constant communication with others through our phones and computers, it might be hard to imagine why you would need another way to speak to friends or relatives. Especially if that other method of communication takes more than a few minutes of your day.
Can’t you just send a quick text or Snap Chat and be done with it?
But imagine for a moment that you had an ample amount of space to say everything you wanted to a person, before they had an opportunity to interrupt or change the subject.
That’s one of the many advantages of the under-practiced, all-but-lost art of letter-writing.
The classic and long-enduring practice of writing letters first decreased in popularity with the advent of email, and has been dwindling ever since with the development of texting and the ever-advancing social media.
While these modern forms of communication may seem easier and more sensible, they do not have all the same benefits as the good old-fashioned, hand-written letter.
So what are these benefits? Why should a person living in the 21st century bother with writing letters to friends and loved ones? Let’s explore some of the reasons!
1. You can say everything and anything you want, with zero interruptions.
When you sit down to write a letter, you have a platform to say what you need to say with absolutely no interruptions. This is important because sometimes it's just easier (and more efficient) to explain yourself or something when there’s no one there to interject or put a twist on things—intentional or otherwise.
This is radically different from texting. When texting someone, most of us tend to text in short blurbs that give people the opportunity to respond right away. Even if you’re not done talking, the ball is immediately in the other person's court the instant you press “send”.
Whereas when you write a letter, you can express your thoughts fully in complete paragraphs. The recipient of your letter then has a chance to take in everything you've written as a whole and reflect on it before forming their own carefully thought-out response.
2. You have time to think through what you say and how you say it.
Because letters are usually longer and take some time to compose, you’re automatically inclined to put a lot more thought into them. Spending time on a letter allows you to be much more intentional with what you express and to carefully consider your word choice.
Most of us can relate to having said things we didn't mean or sending texts we ended up regretting. If you write something you want to take back in a letter, you can simply erase it or start over.
The finished product becomes something well-polished and fully deliberate. Your recipient will read and receive the words you truly mean to say!
3. You can make it look great.
Want to write serious or fancy letters? You can use white or ivory paper and stationery. If you want to set a more fun-loving tone, use purple or green paper, or colorfully boarded stationery! There’s a wide variety of paper and stationery sets to choose from out there that can reflect your personal style and mood of your letter.
Picking the right paper to write on, and the right envelope to send your letter in, is half the fun of letter-writing. Not the most confident in your handwriting? That's okay! Letters can be composed in writing or print. This brings me to my next point:
4. It’s fun to write letters!
If you’re a story-teller like me, or simply someone who enjoys chatting, writing letters will be a very enjoyable practice! Re-tell the recent events of your life or share your deepest, personal thoughts.
Written or printed, letter-writing is a great opportunity to be fully expressive and to add more depth to your relationships. Letters give us the opportunity to bring joy to those who are feeling depressed, friendship and intimacy to the lonely, and much more! Have fun with your letters as well as with the people you address them to!
5. It’s fun for the recipient to receive mail!
Because letter-writing is so rare in our culture these days, it can be even more exciting to receive something in the mail that's not a bill or advertisement! Letter recipients will be glad that you are thinking of them and that you care enough to take the time out of your day to write them a long and detailed discourse. From the moment they take the letter out of the mailbox to the moment they finish reading your final phrase, your recipient will have an unmatched experience.
Edited by Dana Kim on 3/25/2020.