It would surprise no one for us to say that COVID-19 has caused most people to become even more reliant on the digital world. From Zoom calls to Amazon orders, being stuck at home for the last 18 months has meant an exponential increase in screen time.
While nothing is inherently wrong with being in front of one’s computer (I mean, what other options do we have right now?), it’s leaving much to be desired. With travel restrictions, COVID protocols, and the general weariness of pandemic life, we keep asking ourselves, “How do we maintain our friendships in this Strange New World?”
Well…with letters, of course.
We’re inundated with emails. We’re suffocated with Instagram likes. Me personally? I’ve been ignoring texts from my family group chat for about three months. But a letter? I’ll open that immediately (that is, if it’s not a bill).
In the digital age we’re in, a letter holds a sense of gravity. It’s a tangible way of showing someone you care when so much else remains cyber detritus. It’s an artifact of care and attention. It’s a permanent reminder of affection. It’s does the heavy lifting when a quick heart-eye emoji just isn’t enough.
People have been writing letters since the alphabet was invented. As a medium of communication, it’s as personal as one can get. To hold in one’s hands the physical proof that they took the time to think of you…well, nothing’s quite like it.
And that’s why we still write letters. Because it has a place in our world today. It doesn’t replace the convenience of Slack or email or even a text, of course; but nothing meant as much as seeing a letter in the mailbox in my mother’s familiar handwriting with the simple words inside a card that read, “I miss you!”