When you were a little kid, do you remember how thrilling it was to receive a postcard from your Aunt and Uncle who were vacationing in Canada, or a birthday card from your Grandparents? You might have also had a pen pal who you corresponded with on a regular basis, sharing stories about your lives on college ruled paper you borrowed from your Pee Chee folder, or on fancy stationery that your mom gave you.
Now that you are older, and you have once again brought in a huge pile of junk mail and bills from your mailbox, you might understandably be wondering “Do people still write letters anymore?”
While the advent of email combined with our busy lives may make it seem like letter writing (on real paper!) is a forgotten art, it doesn’t have to be. For instance, a good, old-fashioned written letter can accomplish a number of things, including the following:
It Can Make You, the Letter Writer, Happier
As it turns out, that sense of elation you feel when you get a letter is not limited to the sender. The person who sits down and pens a letter can also feel happier, especially if you are sharing positive feelings with the person to whom you are writing. If you tell your friends on paper how much they mean to you and that you enjoy spending time with them, it will brighten their day, as well as yours.
Letters Can Be Kept For Years
Chances are good that you delete most of your emails and texts are also purged from your phone. But as LifeHack notes (1), a wonderful physical letter that you receive from a dear friend or relative can be treasured for years to come. On those days when you are feeling down or nostalgic, you can re-read the funny birthday cards and notes sent to you by your friends and relatives, along with the chatty letters your dad sent you when you were in college. There is also something about a letter that illustrates how much the writer cares about you. Rather than dash out a few sentences on the computer, the person who wrote you a letter had to purchase paper, choose which color pen to use, buy stamps, sit down and write the letter and then mail it to you—all of these tasks combined take way more time than a hasty email and convey a strong message of “You are special to me.”
Tips on Letter Writing
If reading this article has you thinking “I need to write a letter!” you can definitely fit it into your busy schedule. The next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a box of blank cards and a book of stamps from the cashier; this way, when you have some free time, it will be easy to get started. Who you write to is up to you—if your friends are aware that you want to start penning notes again, they may flat out tell you “Write me a letter!” You can also write your parents (you may wish to warn them that a letter is on the way so they don’t pass out from the shock of hearing from you), your grandparents, co-workers who have done something nice to you, young nieces and nephews, and/or the nice receptionist at your doctor’s office who always remembers your name and is so kind.
Once you get your first letter sent, check out even more reasons on why you should KEEP writing letters!