Culture August 7, 2016
When was the last time you set down your daily stack of mail on the dining table and saw the edge of a travel-worn postcard signed in ink? Or, how long has it been since a little pastel envelope covered in stamps was embellished with your name? Did you feel a spark of excitement, a novel curiosity of the words it contained?
If you answered yes, you would probably agree that it is a crying shame that the beautiful art of the handwritten note has been greatly overshadowed in the face of our digitally-driven culture, and should be protected at all costs. To help advocate for handwritten letters and their style, beauty and value, here is a list of reasons, inspired by the Huffington Post, telling you why you should reconsider packing away your stationary for good.
If you think about the timeline of how people have communicated with each other across history, you’ll note that humankind has only had access to telephones since 1876, and Alexander Graham Bell wasn’t exactly waiting on the next iPhone to be released. And no, the ancient Egyptians definitely weren’t liking each other’s Instagram pics of the pyramids back in 3,000 BC.
Instead, men and women in the past cultures wrote everything they experienced down on good old-fashioned parchment. So, if you feel like experiencing a blast to the past, take out a pen and paper and start writing to your bestie about that incredible Sunday brunch you just ate or a heartfelt note to that long lost flame from college. For an extra flare, why not grab a bottle of ink and a stylish quill? Because seriously, who doesn’t want to feel like Jane Austen sometimes?
Ever notice how monotonous texting can get sometimes? Every day it’s the same deal: wake up, check your phone and see a bunch of tiny little notifications saying so and so messaged you at this time. All fine and dandy, but where is the variety? When you write a letter by hand, you are opening up a whole world of possibilities in not only content, but style.
Let your inner artist shine. Studies have shown that by taking the time to focus on physically writing words down, we activate motor, cognitive and visual brain processes differently than when we turn to our phones and computers to get the job done. This allows us to slow down and really concentrate on what we’re trying to convey in words, thereby allowing our inner creativity to flow!
In 2016, if you have a smartphone and a decent data plan, you have the potential to send hundreds of texts, tweets and updates in a single day. Because of this, people no longer take the time to thoroughly think about what they’re about to post.
That casual text message that you took 10 seconds to type and sent flying through through the air across invisible radio waves? It was received on a phone that’s likely in the hands of a very real human being. It seems like sometimes we, as a society, forget that words do matter and do affect those around us. When you write a physical letter or a postcard, you only have a limited amount of space to get your message across. Therefore, you quickly realize just how important it is to choose your words wisely.
Remember that time you accidentally deleted all of your old text messages or lost that really important email somewhere in the depths of the internet? When you hand write letters, you are creating a tangible piece of work that will last potentially long after you’ve passed on.
Think about all the museums in the world that have writing on display from famous musicians, writers and visionaries from bygone eras. Every one of those men and women left their unique mark on humanity, sometimes just by putting their hand to a page and writing what was on their mind.
Imagine being 80 years old in the future and going back through all your belongings you’ve collected over the years. Isn’t the thought of finding an old letter written by someone you loved much more romantic than trying to find a charger that still is compatible with that ancient flip phone you had back in 2003?
Send this to a friend