With social networking, email and text messaging, society is losing the warmth associated with the art of the written letter.
My aunt came to visit recently and we had a wonderful time talking and spending time together. When her three week visit was over, I realized that I wanted to be sure that I maintained that closeness that we had regained. Although she has a computer, I thought it best not to send her an email, but instead, I wanted to write her a letter.
For the first message, I did it the easy way; I sent a card. Sending a card is easy because someone else has written the bulk of the message and you basically only have to sign your name. I was pleased to get a return card in the mail in the form of a thank you card for the gifts she received at Christmas. I have been amazed at the good feelings that accompany sending and receiving letters.
It is very nice to get an honest-to-goodness letter in the mail. My husband used to write me long letters while he was on deployment in the Navy. I miss them! He is, in a sense, deployed now. I send him a card or a box at least once a week because I know that he appreciates receiving mail too.
I bought stationery and decided to write to my aunt once or twice a month. Composing a letter is more formal than writing an email. It was fun to set up the letter and actually handwrite it. I had to be sure to use my best penmanship. Since I type all the time, my handwriting has become undecipherable. I was pleasantly surprised to see that letter writing was, as the saying goes, like riding a bicycle. It all came back to me: the salutation, the opening, the body, and the complimentary close.
We do so many things in the fast-forward mode. There is E-Z Pass for our tolls, fast food for our stomachs, ATM’s and online banking for our finances, and on and on. Or how about those one-hour photo services? The very thought of mailing film in a yellow and black envelope to a processing lab in Wisconsin is unheard of in our fast paced world!
I appreciate these speedy innovations, but I do think that they make us more impatient. We can cook food quickly in the microwave, process a myriad of information lightning fast on the computer, and we still get frustrated if these things are not immediate. We may be missing out on some positive experiences by taking the fastest way to get to the end result. Writing a letter to someone, no matter how brief, is something that you can do to let the other person know that you were thinking of them and that you wanted them to know what was going on in your life.
We should all blend some state-of-the-art processes with one or two from the past. Remind people that you care about them with more than just a forwarded joke in email or a comment on someone’s status on Facebook.
I can’t wait to get home and check my mailbox!