A letter. One page, or even half of a page, with written words that is sent off into the world with an address and a perfectly placed stamp. It could be a letter explaining someone’s day, describing the place that they’re visiting, or, better yet, even a postcard with a picture of their travel destination. Letters are comprised of these common things, yet they mean so much when they are received. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Our phones can send a message with one click of a button”, or, “I can post a full album on Facebook from my vacation, and all of my 5,601 friends can view it”. While this is all true, it is not nearly the same thing at all.
Phones have made our lives easier. There have been countless advancements in cell phones for many years now, and the process for doing everything is so much simpler. We can talk on the phone with someone and also see their face, even though they are miles and miles away. We can send our location with the click of a button, so that people can help us when we are in an unsafe situation. These are only a couple of reasons why cell phones are such a big part of this generation, and, while it’s great for certain circumstances, for others it’s not.
What we have to ask ourselves is, are we just taking the easy way out of everything? Are we really addicted to our phones? Why can’t we just talk to people anymore? The negatives seem to outweigh the positives in this situation. What happens with texting is, we lose a lot of context when we communicate using our phones. Someone can type one thing, and the other person can interpret this text as something totally different. This causes arguments which can lead to bad decisions that could have been prevented if those people had just talked on the phone or had a conversation. It is a hard concept to deal with because, of course, it is so much easier to text someone. You don’t have to deal with seeing them or worrying about what you need to say because you have plenty of time in a text. Quite honestly, it is what we know how to do. Growing up with phones, we have always been taught to text our friends and family when we needed a quick answer or even for a full conversation. It was introduced to us at such a young age, that it is not really an addiction, but it’s what we find to be normal. So is normalcy for us being oversimplified? What ever happened to men being chivalrous and letters being sent to long distance friends. What ever happened to talking to someone on the phone just because. What ever happened to this amazing life that people used to live.
It may just be me, but, in a way, I wish I was born in a different time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone, and I really don’t think I could live without it. However, sometimes I want to go back to the old way of doing things. Now that I’m in college, I appreciate letters so much more. The feeling of getting a letter in the mail is so rewarding, and it means so much to see that thin envelope in the skinny little box that you open up on occasion. Not only that, but it is also fun to write letters to other people. I love making a perfectly worded letter and decorating it with different fonts, and then sending it to someone. Sometimes I even put stuff inside to surprise people and make them happy.
So, even though it’s a simple gesture (and a little outdated), I believe that the simple act of writing a letter makes everyone’s day better. We should make an effort to write more, talk more, and listen more. It might be an “ancient” practice, but it is an important one.