Today, more than ever, staying in touch with friends and family is about speed and convenience. We shoot our Dad a quick two-sentence email and text our BFFs a few heart emojis while asking about their days. Interestingly, while mobile phones do seem to be smarter than ever, it seems very few people actually use them to call others—we would rather send a text or post on their social media pages than sit down over coffee or—gasp—write them an actual letter.
But when you think about it, there are a wide variety of reasons why you should keep on sending letters….real letters, mind you, written on actual paper and sent through the mail. As for why you should still send letters to your friends and family, please consider the following:
One: It Keeps Your Writing Skills Sharp
Between spell check on our computers and our super fast text-speak including common abbreviations like LOL and OMG, we may be losing our knack for spelling and grammar. But when you sit down with a blank piece of stationery and a pen and get ready to tell your Mom about your week, suddenly these skills are once again very important. Composing letters on a regular basis will allow you to work on a number of areas of writing including sentence structure, spelling, and style, which are definitely important skills to have.
Two: It Helps Your Relationships
As Writing Cooperative notes (1), you probably have a number of people in your life that mean a lot to you, including close friends, elderly relatives, and siblings. While you might not see them as often as you would like, you cherish your relationships with these people. A good way to show them how much they mean to you is to take the time to write them a letter; even if it takes three times as long as an email or a few texts. Setting aside the time to write a note or send a funny card will help show your loved ones that you truly care about them and that you are willing to take time out of your busy life to stay in touch. On those days when they are feeling blue, tired and/or under the weather, your friends and family can pull your letters out of a drawer and re-read them for a quick pick-me-up—chances are good they won’t get the same feeling by scrolling through dozens of “LOL” texts filled with emojis.
Three: People Love It…and You May Get Letters Back
Remember when you were little and you were delighted when your Grandma sent you a birthday card? You loved getting mail then, and you probably enjoy getting mail now…except that most of the time it’s junk mail and bills. If you want to spread joy to the people you love most, help them recapture the thrill of opening the mailbox and finding an envelope hand addressed to them. For the price of a stamp and some of your time, you will make their day by sending letters…and if you are fortunate, your friends and family members may return the favor by sending you a hand-written note in reply.