These days many people just send texts or emails in order to send messages to others. However, writing letters and cards is still an option, which sometimes may be a better thing to do. (Photo Courtesy of Gretchen Stern)
In an age where communication by texting and emailing is common, letter-writing is not often something people think about.
There is no doubt that online conversation is quicker and easier. Reaching out, talking to people, and getting information is so simple that no one would give texting a second thought.
However, there are many benefits of sending hand-written messages. While yes, it is more work — not only do you have to put it in an envelope and mail it off, you also have to wait days for a response — it can offer you things virtual communication can not.
Here are a few of those benefits:
Letters and cards simply show you care.
They prove to the receiver that they are important enough for you to take the time and make something for them. Even if what you write is not a particularly meaningful message, it is the thought and effort that counts. If a person receives a text and a card on their birthday, or for some holiday, which are they going to remember more? Probably the card. And as an added bonus, sending a card just gives someone something exciting to open besides the usual pile of junk mail people find in their mailboxes.
With texting people, there is not much time nor opportunity to think about what you are saying: you see a text, quickly type a response, hit send, and move on.
Letters force you to slow down and think about what you want to say, allowing what you say to have more significance. Even if it is just an account of your day or a bunch of your recent thoughts put together, the message is so much more personable. It is a tangible item people can have that will not as easily get lost, whereas texts and emails are easily buried as more and more come in.
This practice is scientifically proven to have numerous advantages.
It helps brain function at every age, and can “sharpen your mind, expand your creativity and connect you with friends.” Most know that handwriting anything is better for a person than looking at a screen, and this example is no different. There are also powerful mental health benefits that can lead to increased levels of happiness and a better sense of self — so it is clear handwriting strengthens the mind in different ways.
Overall sending handmade cards and letters is just a fun and productive pastime many would recommend. “I love writing cards because they feel more personal and I like decorating them. Making cards for my friends allows me to spend time thinking about them, and I have started collecting the responses. It is definitely as fun to receive letters as it is to send them. I also love that the words are more permanent than text messages,” said Lizzie Ostling, a junior at Leesville Road High School.
While texting in general is fine to use on a daily basis, letters add a memorable touch. Not only will writing someone a letter undoubtedly make them happy, it will most likely also make you feel fulfilled — and if you are lucky, you might even receive one back.