The Value of a Handwritten Letter
Relationships

The Value of a Handwritten Letter

Bringing back a soon-to-be ancient art form.

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theguardian.com

In a day and age where convenience trumps sentiment, we're settling for the bare minimum when it comes to communication and emotional expression. There is a reason why your mother always made sure you wrote thank-you notes after every birthday. There's a reason why getting a letter in the mail is so exciting. Writing someone a letter is the rawest and most genuine way of showing them the importance of the words you have to say. It is a truly unique way to show someone how much they mean to you.

The great thing about handwritten notes or letters is that they don't have to be anything fancy to be meaningful. A messily-written ramble on a piece of scratch notebook paper can mean just as much as a beautiful, calligraphic letter written on the finest stationary. They both say, "You're important to me, and I wanted to take the time to write down these thoughts so that you can hold onto them forever." As the old saying goes, "It's the thought that counts," (not the handwriting). It can be a three-page love letter, or a simple, two-sentence note – no matter the length, there's something special about getting words from a loved-one in the form of a physical, handwritten message.

One of my favorite things about handwritten letters is that you can keep them for however long you want, and revisit them at any time. A screenshot of a sweet text doesn't quite measure up. There is emotion and passion behind hand-forged sentences. With every wisp of ink, you can feel the essence of its writer.

Unfortunately, this method of communication is seriously underrated today. As I once told a friend, "Split-message texts are the love letters of the 21st century," and unfortunately, that's the truth. We're saving screenshots to our camera roll instead of precious letters in a shoe box. We're replacing thoughtful little notes with kissy-face emojis and telling ourselves that the sentiment is the same.

Our generation is all about speed and convenience. But, to be honest, sometimes you have to slow down to show someone how much you care.

Want to show your significant other how much you love him/her? Write down how you feel about them in a letter and seal it with a kiss. Want to show your mom how much you appreciate her? Leave a thankful note for her in the kitchen. Mail a funny card to your friend who lives across the state/country/world just to let them know you're thinking about them. I promise you it will mean much more than you know.

While phone calls and text messages are easy ways of letting someone know you're thinking of them, there is magic in the permanence of a physical, handwritten note. So go get out a pen and a piece of paper, and write a letter to someone you care about. Maybe we can start re-filling each other's boxes with sweet sentiments, and leave the texting for making plans.

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