Richard (“Dick”) Turpin (1705-1739) was a notorious highwayman in…
For the majority of us nowadays, email is an integral part of our lives – in both a professional and personal manner. I personally use email for work, and for keeping in touch with friends and family members. My email inbox has now also become the place for online receipts, newsletters and much more. When you think about it; what can’t email do these days?! Well, here are 5 reasons why handwritten notes and letters still have a special place in our hearts in 2015.
Imagine your friend has suffered a bereavement. Now imagine sending them a quick email or text instead of a handwritten card or note to pass on your condolences. It just doesn’t sit right with me. I realise we now have e-cards, and companies such as Moonpig who print your words in cards for you, but in certain circumstances I really don’t think you can replace a handwritten note. Despite my eco-friendly side realising that e-cards are much better for the environment, I would still be disappointed if I were to receive one instead of a card for occasions such as birthdays, thank yous, congratulations, and so on.
They’re not a bill!
Most of the post we get through our doors these days is either junk mail (such as leaflets from supermarkets you don’t even visit), bills or those dreaded brown envelopes which never, ever contain anything good! How lovely is it, on comparison, when an envelope with a handwritten name and address falls onto the doormat? This has always felt special, but nowadays it seems to feel even more so – with all of us having such busy lives, the thought of someone stopping for half an hour to pen a letter to you is truly magical.
Paper is harder to lose than email
It might be your Mum’s first ever email to you, or a gooey one from your other half, but the chances are you can’t find it again as it is lost in a sea of old emails. I, for one, can never ever find an email when I search for it! Of course, this could just be me and my email skills. But, all of my old letters from penpals, friends and family members are stored together in a box. I could find a specific letter from my Nan in a minute flat, if someone needed me to. There is something special in being able to store handwritten notes in this way.
Handwritten is more personal
Not only does a handwritten letter take longer to write and therefore suggest more care from the writer, it is also more personal on many, many levels. Consider this:
“Ink from your pen touches the stationery, your fingers touch the paper, your saliva seals the envelope. Something tangible from your world travels through machines and hands, and deposits itself in another’s mailbox. Your letter is then carried inside as an invited guest. The paper that was sitting on your desk, now sits on another’s. The recipient handles the paper that you handled.”
‘Snail mail’ is slow
Slow might not sound like a selling point to you, but in this fast-paced era of emails, text messages and WhatsApp, I am thirsty for anything that exists at a slower and more relaxing pace. Mindfulness has become quite a big concept lately – the act of focussing one’s attention on the present, on the here and now – and taking time to sit down, relax and read or write a handwritten letter, for me, fits into that mindset quite nicely.