I was doing a bit of cleaning up today when I came across a post card I received a couple of weeks ago. When was the last time you received a handwritten letter or card from someone via snail mail? When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone? When was the last time you entered a post office?
With the advent of email and instant messaging services, snail mail is becoming a medium used mainly for business purposes. We are now sending even Christmas and birthday cards via the electronic medium. How do you feel when you receive a handwritten letter from someone? Do you remember spraying your letters with perfume or putting a lipstick stained kiss on them? Do you remember sending photos or other things with your letters and asking the recipient to send them back? The main things that come through my snail mailbox are bills, statements, people trying to sell me stuff, flyers or mail orders.
I remember in high school having quite a few pen pals from around the world. I always looked forward to hearing from them. Reading their letters, seeing their handwriting made it a personal experience for me. I felt I was close to them in a strange kind of way. Even now as an adult I still get that feeling when I receive something handwritten through the post. The fact that the person sat down and took time to write it, took it to the mailbox and sent it, makes me feel grateful and special because that was done with me in mind. Do you feel like that when you receive something handwritten? I remember making a friendship bracelet with one pen pal. She would do a bit and send it to me. I would then do some more from where she left off and send it back, and it carried on like that til the bracelet was finished. We made two so we could each have one.
I think the evolution of communication media is wonderful and I think it allows us to more easily maintain ties with family and friends worldwide. Phones, Skype, Facebook, messenger, etc. are great but for me, nothing beats getting a bit of handwritten snail mail. It’s a novelty nowadays getting that.
I wonder if handwriting will become a special skill in the future? Classrooms are being equipped with notebooks and tablets, chalkboards are being replaced with electronic smart boards, tests are being done online instead of written, we communicate professionally and personally through email. We write so little that it seems like in a few years writing will become redundant.
Sometimes we don’t realise the impact of something until it is taken away. My challenge to you…send someone a letter or postcard. You’ll never believe the impact it will have on that person’s day. One love.