Letter Writing: A Lost Art?
Letter writing has been around for centuries, yet technological advancements such as the internet have changed the way people communicate, with writing letters becoming almost obsolete in the modern world. While it may not be as common as other methods, letter writing remains an art form that has the potential to evoke emotion and help strengthen relationships, despite how far away one may be. Read on to learn more about how writing letters has become a lost art today, yet how it can still be put to good use.
1. Exploring the History of Letter Writing
Long before the invention of the modern-day telephone, email, and text message, there was one primary method of written communication: letter writing. It was a time-honored tradition used to communicate distant feelings, shared ideas, and distant wishes. But however romantic, is letter writing is becoming a lost art?
Writing a letter to a loved one was once thought of as the perfect way to communicate intense feelings and thoughts. The handwritten words reveal a sense of intimacy and re-assurance, leaving the reader with a nice reminder of how much the sender truly cares. But with the busyness and impersonal nature of our contemporary lives, sometimes the traditional acts of writing a letter slip away.
A Worldwide Exchange
As far back as the 1800s, letter writing was a widespread way to communicate between countries and cultures. While crossing international borders could take several months on a ship, a piece of paper with a stamp could reach anyone in the world within just a few days. And while the internet has drastically decreased our global connection time, it will never truly replace the physical writing of a letter.
A Universal Practice
No matter what language a person may speak or what country they might be born in, the practice of letter writing was, and still is, a universal concept. The act has been a reliable source of communication, predating the invention of the telephone and the internet by hundreds of years. It is a powerful way to break down barriers between people, as two strangers are entirely reliant on their words and not any other devices for communication.
Holding on to the Past
In an age of technology, letter writing is becoming less and less popular. As more and more tools become available to write a long-form message, the art of letter writing has become a bit of a forgotten practice. The true charm of sending a letter to a person is quickly being lost, but we can all continue to enjoy this practice and experience a delightful connection to the past.
2. Understanding the Benefits of Written Correspondence
Effective communication is one of the most important aspects of any successful organization, and written correspondence lies at the heart of it. Writing and receiving letters has long been a preferred method of communication among individuals and businesses alike, due to the many benefits that come with it. The purpose of this post is to explore these advantages and explain why letter writing should not be seen as a lost art.
1. Conveying Intention and Tone
Through written communication, it’s easier for both parties to understand the intention and tone of each letter. How does one communicate intention and tone through a letter? Through the use of ‘tone markers’ – certain words or phrases used interchangeably that enable one to communicate the desired tone and intention. Understanding tone markers can help both the sender and receiver of a letter interpret the message in the same way, so the message can be received without being misinterpreted.
2. Strengifted Neural Networks
The power of words is best illustrated in written letters, as they are the only form of communication where the sender and receiver engage in the same way. Writing a letter strengthens your neural connections, gifting your brain with better logic, reasoning, and memory abilities. Individuals will be able to craft sentences and structure their ideas properly – an effective way to train the brain. This increased mental capacity can be applied to any occupation or task one embarks on.
3. Quality of Thought
Due to lack of interruption, distraction or intensity in traditional forms of written correspondence, one’s thoughts are likely to be of higher quality than in other forms of communication. There’s nothing to stop you from thoroughly analyzing data, deciphering spoken messages and assessing implications of decisions when writing letters. As well, this constant engagement with the written word can lead to a greater understanding of grammar and strong writing abilities.
4. Lasting Impression
Letters are tangible pieces of paper, which means that the recipient can’t just forget them easily. They remain present in the recipient’s life, and even if the contents may have long been forgotten, the memory of the gesture remains. A thoughtful and well-written letter is an effective way to reach out to the recipient and leave a lasting impression.
All in all, letter writing is far from a lost art. In today’s digital age, it remains an effective form of communication, as it enables us to convey our thoughts, feelings and intentions more effectively than any other form of communication. It provides an avenue for the exchange of ideas and encourages quality of thought, and for these reasons letter writing should be embraced by all.
3. Exploring the Decline of Letter Writing
In today’s world of texts, emails, and social media messages, it’s becoming increasingly rare to send a letter by mail - the once-preferred method of correspondence. But, even several decades ago, letter writing was declining. What happened to letter writing?
- Social Changes: The way people socialize and communicate with one another has changed drastically, due to the rise of technology and social media. These changes have made the ease and immediacy of sending electronic messages more desirable, rendering letter writing a much less attractive method of communication.
- Financial Pressures: Financial pressures can also be attributed to the decline in letter writing, as most people simply do not have the luxury of extra resources for personal correspondence. This means they have opted for a more cost-efficient, quicker method of communication, further contributing to the decline in letter writing.
- Lack of Interest: Of course, there are always people who simply prefer to communicate electronically and have no interest in sending letters. With the advancement of technology, it has become easy to track conversations and send immediate responses, eliminating the need for letter writing. This lack of interest has also likely contributed to the decline.
For many of us, sending a letter to someone is a lost art. That being said, there are still those who appreciate and enjoy letter writing as a form of connection, a way to show someone they are thinking of them. No matter the sender’s motivation, there is a certain charm to receiving a hand-written letter in the post.
4. Reviving the Letter Writing Tradition
These days the internet is the go-to medium for lots of communication. There are emails, IMs, and more. Just about anything can get from one part of the world to another in a matter of seconds. But, with all of that, we’ve lost something. We’ve lost the personal aspect of written communication.
But, that doesn’t mean that letter writing is a lost art. In fact, it’s far from it. Lots of people still appreciate the power of a handwritten note. Here are just four ways to revive the letter writing tradition and get back to a more personal form of communication.
- Make it fun: While letter writing has traditionally been a serious endeavor, that doesn’t mean it has to be that way. Have fun with the process. Spruce up the envelope. Draw pictures. Make your letter look like a work of art.
- Think local: Think about people you know who may need some extra encouragement or appreciation. It could be a neighbor, a former teacher, or even a co-worker. Maybe, you could even think about writing to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
- Keep it simple: Your letter doesn’t have to be hundreds of pages long. A few lines of emotion-filled words can be more meaningful than any reply that’s twice as long.
- Start a chain: Everyone loves getting a letter, but, eventually, replies are necessary. Start a chain and encourage your recipient to write a letter to someone else. You could even start a letter writing club or pass around a book where each person can write a note.
No matter how you choose to revive the letter writing tradition, it’s sure to bring a smile to someone’s face. Take the time to get out that pen and paper and make someone’s day special. Who knows, you might just make someone’s year that much better. Letter writing is a beautiful expression of our thoughts and emotions that should not be forgotten. As the art of letter writing slowly fades from our lives, let’s take the time to re-discover the joys and appreciate the benefits of letter writing. Maybe we can even pass it on to a younger generation as well!