What We Can Gain From Writing Letters

Sometimes, a text isn’t enough

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photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

My grandparents' love story unfolded in their letters.

In one letter, my grandmother tells of the panic one of her dormmates felt when she learned she had a phone call. The poor girl was sure it was bad news and she almost had a nervous breakdown thinking about it. As it turned out, her folks just wanted to check in with her. Phone calls were rare then, as not everyone had ready access to one. A phone call usually brought bad news.

That’s what we lose when we don’t write letters — the thoughts and fears of the people experiencing historic events.

That’s not all we lose when we communicate using emojis and gifs via texts and emails, we also lose the personal touch conveyed in a note of condolence or one of celebration. I for one have gotten worse at sending a personal note to mark a special occasion. Sometimes, that acknowledgment is reduced to a heart emoji in the comments of a Facebook post. I know I’m not alone. But I do have a few friends who still send cards and letters to mark the special times we share. I love receiving them. I’ve told myself over and over I’m going to be better about sending them.

Writer, Midwesterner, Amateur Cat Herder, Nap Enthusiast. Previously, Contributing Editor for Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market.

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