Handwritten Letters in Modern Times
Updated: Jul 25
So why is letter writing not as popular anymore? Well, you guessed it! We are indeed in modern times with everything “digital.” Well, we still have a choice to handwrite a letter to a loved one and send it slow mail. Of course, we are spoiled now because we want our messages to reach our loved ones much quicker than in the old days when cell phones were non-existent. However, I was doing some research on the subject and I came across some interesting stuff that is worth sharing!
I found out that there are so many reasons we should write more handwritten letters or notes. Here are a few I’ve gathered:
1. Handwritten letters can be memorialized and treasured for years. Like my book! My mother kept over 100 letters written between her and my father. Without those letters, I would not have learned as much as I do now about their history. In fact, if you visit any history museum, you’ll be surprised by how intriguing letters can be. Maybe the paper shows wear and tear, but the words are priceless.
2. Receiving a letter can actually make you happier. There was a study by Steve Toepfer from Kent State University, about the benefits you get from penning letters. He stated that "by making a habit of writing thoughtful letters of gratitude, you’ll feel happier and more satisfied. And if you’re suffering from depressive symptoms, your symptoms will decrease.” In fact, have you ever received a card without some handwritten note on it? I usually read the handwritten note first before reading the words that come with the card. Reading those short notes brings more meaning and happiness to the recipient.
3. A handwritten note brings a sense of importance to a relationship. Whenever someone takes the time to send a thoughtful note, it shows a cherished relationship. It demonstrates an investment of your time. These moments strengthen a friendship or a marriage. This is a good way to show loyalty to clients and business partners as well.
4. It’s a stylish way to remind people they’re special. Just imagine, letters we write to others make us look pretty special ourselves. Handwritten letters bring elegance to our style. It can set you apart as a classy person by sticking a stamp to your encouraging words.
5. Writing a letter helps you pause long enough to say the things that really matter. Texting and emailing are not the same because it’s usually reactionary. By that, I mean that when you need information, you reach out. Writing letters are more intentional. You do it to give and not to receive. You write because there is something you need to say and not something you need to know.
6. Handwriting a note or letter can create a wonderful surprise. Do you remember how fun it was to receive a letter in the mail? You couldn’t wait to see what has been written. That anticipation was worth the wait! Of course, now all we get from the post office or mailbox is junk mail. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some real mail that is something very special?
7. When you send handwritten articles to people, you are participating in one of history’s finest affection. Here are a few examples: Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” which captured the spirit of the American Civil Rights Movement. Or Major Sullivan Ballou’s “Letter to Sarah” revealed the conflicted emotions of a soldier who loved his country and a husband who loved his wife. Remember the letter from a young girl, Grace Greenwood Bedell Billings, who convinced U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to grow his iconic beard. And don’t forget the many letters Anne Frank wrote. Our ancestors knew the importance of writing letters.
8. Handwritten notes can really speak volumes to older folks. These will bring back the times they cherished. Young folks today may find it boring, but the older generations find it rich in sentiment. Even though we older folks know how to text in modern times, we still love to open a handwritten letter or card once in a while.
9. Showing off your handwriting or keeping it in practice is fun. Learning and practicing cursive was a curriculum in the day. If you have the skill, show it off! Or, if you’re like me, I prefer to write cursive than write each letter in a word. It’s faster and more fun for me. Although, if your cursive handwriting is not legible, you’re better off writing each letter so people can read your notes.
10. Well-written cards are fun and easier than you may think. They can be the least expensive and most meaningful gifts you can give to someone special. With a few strokes of a pen, you have the power to inspire a loved one, cheer a friend, or ignite romance. The hardest part is getting into the practice of doing it. Who is meaningful in your life? If you have something special to tell someone you love, what would you want to say? Don’t worry about your penmanship, just write what you feel. Afterward, just find the right card to write your special message and mail it out. Yes, slow mail. Good things come to those who wait. I hope that puts a smile on your face.
Blog by K.L. Estrada, Author of Wallflower Pen Pals. Learn more by visiting www.klestrada.com