Do you write letters? In a fast paced world of email (which is now almost archaic), texting, FaceTime, and so many other forms of instant communication, why pay fifty cents and wait a week to get a response? It seems that new age communication has driven out the age of letter writing and "snail mail" in general. Even trying to think back to a time before a quick Google search, seems challenging. Although the sight of a typewriter would probably raise questions for a child born in the last ten years, the time before electronic communication doesn't lie too far into history.
Over those short decades, however, we have fallen into a communication void. We rely so heavily on computers and take for granted that our friends are just one text away. As much as I love spell check and my Snapchat streaks, the easy accessibility of online communication allows us to stay at surface level in our relationships. We don't often pour out our hearts in a multi paragraph long text message. Letters and the sentiment behind them serve almost like a journal shared between two people. You write what you experience, how you feel, what you did that week, etc. and share that piece of yourself with one other person. There is an intimacy created between pen pals that exists because of the authenticity of a letter. Nothing can edit or package your written words into something they are not. Letters have the full power to be one hundred percent original, and exactly what they were intended to be.
Had it not been for my good friends at the postal service, I would not have stayed in touch with my newest pen pal. For the most part, our only communication is solely through letters. About every two weeks, we hear from each other. The constancy of that envelope in the mailbox is a reminder to stay in touch. A letter invites an opportunity to share and to be heard.
While I'll still keep those Snapchat streaks going and forever cherish my family's group text, I hope to always hold onto my love for letters.
Until next time, your friend,
P.S. Next time you think of someone who you miss or want to get back in touch with, send them a letter.