The Demise of Written Correspondence

I am a writer. I can best express myself through words on paper, rather than in conversation. Yet I am somewhat of a dinosaur. Few people care to write to one another, preferring instead the ubiquitous cell phone for chatting or texting, using shortcut terminology and coded phrases. (C U later. I M here 4 U – 24/7.)

Saddened by the loss of beautiful and colorful exposition, I refuse to succumb to that way of communicating. You will not hear me say that someone is busy 24/7; you won’t see me texting a friend on a handheld device. I prefer words, lengthy, beautiful, expressive words, to share my feelings. I send cards, I write letters, and yes, I e-mail. I love words and what they can do. I can send cheer, or sympathy, or concern, or congratulations, all with words on a piece of paper. I can celebrate with you, or cry with you, hopefully make you laugh, all with a pen or pencil.

You’re too busy. I know. I hear this all the time. It’s easier to call. Yup. Yet have you ever received a correspondence that you read over and over, just for the joy of it? Have you smiled to know that someone thought of you enough to take the time to write, or choose a card just for you?

I like, too, the permanence of the written word. Years later, someone can pull out a letter, reread it, and relive the joy or sorrow or pleasure it presented the first time.  Birthday cards with a handwritten note inside, letters from a child at camp, love letters from a sixteen year old boy, a note from a long gone grandparent – all of these are items to be cherished! Even sympathy cards, arriving at a time of great sorrow, bring a smile to the face of the recipient, knowing they are thought of, and cared for.

So next time you pick up the phone to call a friend, maybe you should think about writing a letter instead. Share what’s on your mind and in your heart in a more permanent way. Give the recipient a gift that they can hold on to.

Don’t let the art of correspondence disappear.

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8 Responses to “The Demise of Written Correspondence”

  1. Clare Stella Says:

    I so agree with this beautifully written article. The other day I was going through some old stuff and found a letter written to me by a staff member of the nursing home where my mother had lived. It was very touching. Had this lovely young woman not taken the time to write, I might never have known that my mother had dressed up one evening and attended a get-together with some of the other nursing home residents. This sweet and caring nurse even enclosed a photo of my mom.
    How could a text message ever have conveyed the same amount of caring and love as did this letter and photo?
    Thank you for reminding me and others of the importance of written communication.

  2. jonjonjon Says:

    Wonderfully put!! I couldn’t agree more! There is something unique and powerful in the WRITTEN word. Something we can never find in a short text message or often times even on online article. The written word is, for me, more permanent. Somehow more real.

  3. Shawn W Says:

    My mother is one who knows the joy of the written word, and has instilled it in her children. That ecard may be cute or funny, but it’s the one that arrived snail mail that will bring a smile or tear, years down the line.

  4. Corina Says:

    I prefer cards and letters to a lot of things, most of the time but there are also times when I prefer hearing someone’s voice or saying the words to someone. I think there is a time and a place for both.

    I’m with you on the texting and “chatting”. I only recently (like in the past 6 mos.) learned to send text messages. I do it only when I have to (like when I know the kids are at work and can’t get the call).

  5. Paul Says:

    Yes….the sublime, powerful written word. Occasionally I even write something profound, or interesting, or even funny….my sisters write incredibly funny things and make me laugh out loud, to their credit….my son writes things so deep I don’t even know what he’s saying but I read them anyways….however, I will admit that I never wrote so much when I had to sit down, pen or pencil in hand, and make chicken scratches on, God save me, a piece of plain paper….only in this age of more-or-less instant communication have I become prolific….thank you e-mail! “Corina, Corina….” wasn’t that a song by the Everly Brothers? I actually own, and use a phone that doesn’t take pictures! How dinosaur is that? I had a phone that took pictures, but never intentionally took one! Took some by accident, half my face, or two blurry fingers, an unrecognizable “something…but never one on purpose! I kept it so long only in the hope a UFO would fly by and I might catch a blurry picture without context and get a slot on “UFO Hunters”…..never happened….so now I won a phone with big numbers and a larger screen so I can actually dial the damned thing with asking someone to do it for me….text messaging…yeah, right….could the letters be any smaller?
    So, keep writing and amusing us late-middle age folks!

  6. Mirror Tiles · Says:

    i love to receive birthday cards specially if they are custom built birthday cards `”:

  7. Charisse Pfendler Says:

    Wonderful work! That is the kind of information that are meant to be shared across the web. Shame on search engines for no longer positioning this publish higher! Come on over and discuss with my web site . Thank you =)

  8. nanis Says:

    Thanks, Charisse, for reminding me to come back to WordPress. I have much to write about, yet have not spent the time for a while. I’ll be back!

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