Everyone with a mobile phone gets texts every day. What used to be a fun and convenient innovation is now just a part of everyday life, like speaking or eating. Just like vintage clothing trends, however, some other vintage hobbies are coming back around. People are listening to music on vinyl and even cassettes, wearing bell-bottom jeans, and writing each other letters. It might seem like a lot of work, boring, or even useless, but there are so many benefits to writing a letter to a family member, a friend, or a significant other if you're long-distance!
The Excitement of Receiving a Letter
You can't lie - how happy do you get when you get a letter in the mail that isn't a bill? It could be a nice card or even just a manila envelope, but no matter what it is, it's always an exciting part of your day!
If you don't get excited about getting mail, then think about if your family or friends would. So many people aren't good with technology, especially older people, and they may not have as strong a connection with other people who take being in constant contact for granted. Snail mail is a great way to show you care about someone, even if there's no gift inside.
More Customizable than a Text
Text-based messages are convenient, fast, and can be sent with special effects depending on the device, but there are some amazing things about a letter that just can't be replicated. For one, it's extremely personal to the people writing and receiving it because it's in handwriting. You arguably can write by hand on a smartphone, but it's not the same as opening an envelope to reveal carefully curated stationery, a page carelessly torn from a notebook, or even paper stained with tea or coffee the person was drinking while writing it.
The format is beyond a text bubble as well. Letters aren't limited to horizontal, line-by-line writing (though it is popular). You can draw all over a piece of paper, write an essay, write nothing at all and draw a picture, or write all your letters backward! The world is your oyster!
In today's world of modern technology, instant gratification has become a huge issue. Oftentimes, people will turn off videos that don't immediately capture their attention or answer their questions, and expect that any problem they had will be solved immediately. As nice as that would be, not only is that not the case, but having that expectation can make a person become more impatient and easily upset.
The whole process of writing and receiving a letter is much longer than sending a text. The writing of the letter can take a long time, depending on how fast you can write, and waiting for the letter to come takes even longer. However, when you keep communicating this way, you'll start to build a tolerance and excitement for the periods in between. It's probably best to pair it with other forms of communication like calling on the phone or texting, but it's a great way to get away from the screen for a little bit and learn how to wait!
Sharing Physical Items
In the days of yore when penpals were popular, people would send each other little souvenirs from their adventures. It could be a movie ticket, a flyer for an event they attended, or another small, light item that caught the person's eye. This isn't just restricted to letters, though! You can write a handwritten message and put it in a box to send a loved one something that maybe cannot be bought. For example, if you wanted to make a long-distance significant other a box full of heartfelt messages, you couldn't just get that ordered from an online store!
Sharing physical items, big or small, shows that you really care about the other person's interests or about them in general.
Develops Penmanship/Artistic Eye
This isn't for everybody, but if you're the kind of person who wants to get better at writing and drawing, writing letters can be a great multipurpose outlet for that! You can practice calligraphy while writing, experimenting with styles. Additionally, you can put stickers, washi tape, and other ornamental items on the letter to make it not just a piece of paper, but a collage! For example, people could write out playlists, draw little pictures and frame them with washi tape, and almost anything else imaginable!
Supports the Postal System
Finally, writing letters supports the postal system! Without the postal system, these letters couldn't be sent at all. It might be a tad more expensive than sending texts, but it supports a system that helps people receive election materials, life-saving medications, and heartfelt gifts and messages from loved ones.
Even if you don't know exactly where to start with letter-writing, that's ok! Buy a couple of stamps and ask a friend if they want to be your penpal. Or, you can surprise them with letters yourself, even if they're just words on a plain sheet of paper. If any of the above reasons sound like a good reason to start writing letters to people, you should start today! It can make a difference for your loved ones and the postal system.