Today is Letter Writing Day.
Text messaging and the internet is slowly putting an end to the romanticized days of letter-writing. Let’s face it, it’s much easier and quicker to grab your phone and send a quick text to someone or turn your computer on and send an email than it is to write a letter. The medium of social networks has made instant communication a lot easier and a lot more efficient as well, meaning that we can communicate with friends and relatives immediately, at the simple click of a button.
But there’s something about the new-age of communication that makes it all seem a bit, well, impersonal and over-accessible. Because we can communicate at speed and with very little effort, we take modern communication methods for granted and sometimes are ignorant of the fact that years ago, when our grandparents were young, there was no such thing as text-messaging or emails or social networks, or even the internet. One aspect of communication that people would have to rely on to contact each other was telephones, which isn’t as easy as today because the use of telephones didn’t really become mainstream until the late 1950’s/early 60’s as the use of private lines became more affordable around then.
Another aspect of communication that was popular, if you didn’t have access to a telephone, was letter writing. Seeing your friend or relative’s handwriting inked into the corresponding letter was a faithful sign that they were safe and well and provided you with an update of a section of their life, for which you could respond and maintain a long-distance relationship, rather than a quickfire, rushed telephone call where you’d caught your friend or relative at an unfortunate and busy time.
Can you remember the last time you actually sat down and wrote a hand-written letter? Have you ever written one? The only hand-written letters I’ve wrote are letters to Father Christmas and the only ones that arrive through my letterbox now are postcards from family friends but you can’t really class a postcard as a letter, so I don’t have any hand-written letters anymore. At all.
But some people, mostly the older generation, really appreciate the dying art of writing letters. Around Christmas time, there are more hand-written letters delivered than at any other time of the year and for older people, it can bring a warm feeling of their youth back.
So, why not give it a go? Get your notepad and pen out and write a letter to your family or friends and then just stick a stamp on it and drop it in a postbox. A letter has a much more personal touch, so turn your phone and computer off for a few hours and learn to communicate like in the ‘olden’ days.
You may even enjoy it.
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