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Why We Still Write Letters

Think of how many emails you receive in a day.

They come from family and friends to fill you in on their lives, maybe with an attached picture of their new home or their dog. They’re sent throughout the day at all hours, containing business proposals, updates, commands, changes, ideas. You type up your reply, brief and informal, using terms like “EOD” if you’re at the office and colons and parentheses to create a smiley face in an email to your dearest friend from college. You sift through spam to sort through companies advertising their latest sales, their newest products, how you have to have it all right now!

Just a click away.

Now—think about how many letters you receive in a week.

In the age of email and social media, letters are becoming increasingly obsolete. In a study published in the Telegraph, one in ten children has never written a note by hand. Yet there are still people out there (and I am certainly one of them) who are nostalgic for the handwritten note and yearn to preserve this tradition. We rebel against the conventions of our time, looking to tradition for ways to reinvent our self-expression. Writing a letter is a deliberate act of reflection, both of the relationship to the recipient and to ourselves.

With the plethora of emails I receive in a given day, I find solace in the discovery of a handwritten letter in my mailbox. I feel a wave of hope knowing people are still putting pen to paper and sharing pieces of themselves in the form of handwritten notes. It’s the experience of knowing that someone thought about you and took the time to create something special for your eyes only. With our Facebook or LinkedIn profile pictures as the new first impression, letters now become the true portals into the hearts of others.

Marine postcard
A postcard I received from my dear friend Marine, who lives in France. She used up every inch of the card– I just adore that!

Send a letter to someone who matters to you. Make your sentiments known in the way you cross your t’s and dot your ‘i’s. Show someone you love them. Your letter is something tangible; it will be held, touched, and read over again and again for years to come.


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