I was born in 1995. I made my grand entrance into the world right in the midst of a technology revolution. Email and Internet access was being implemented into everyday life. Computers were no longer just being found in large companies and research labs. They were being made available to ordinary people. People became much more connected in a short amount of time. Now, I certainly do not remember any personal experiences from this time. I was only an infant. But- when I look back and compare the lifestyle of people prior to this technology revolution to the lifestyle of people in 2016, the differences are unbelievable.
In 2016, people are constantly connected to one another. For example, every morning, I wake up with Facebook notifications on my phone telling me to wish so-and-so a "Happy birthday!" I don't even have to remember anyone's birthday anymore. Between emailing, texting, calling, and social media, we are able to connect with a large amount of people often in a matter of seconds. Growing up in the age of technology, it is hard to imagine life without all of these means of communication. It is not until I was forced to regress back to the old ways of communication that I realized the way people lived and communicated prior to technology.
My little brother is going through Army Basic training right now. Of course, these young men and women are cut off from technology during training. This seemingly cuts them out from the world. This is certainly a concept that millennials are not used to. Anyway, the only way to communicate with your loved one in training is through the form of letters. This week, I wrote a letter to my brother. Before I started writing it, I mapped out exactly what I wanted to say. I took my time on it being careful to make every word look nice. I wrote in blue ink because I thought it was prettier than black ink. The point is, I put a lot of time and effort into this letter. This time and effort is also something millennials are not used to doing when it comes to communication. Today, when I type a text or an email, I don't have to put very much effort into it. I type up what I have to say, and I send it.
What I realized from writing this letter is that hand-written letters are somewhat of an art-form. When you look at a handwritten letter, you can see the writer's personality in their words. Not just through their particular writing style or diction, but through their handwriting, as well. Seeing the writer's hand-writing gives a letter so much individuality. It shows that it was hand-crafted just for the recipient. It goes far beyond just being a means of communication, it is a work of art.
Today, a handwritten letter seems to be a relic of the past. I can count on one hand the number of times I have written a letter to someone in my lifetime. This is a shame. So much personality is lost in today's means of communication. Hand-writing a letter gave me a sense of nostalgia. It made me feel what it was like to communicate with people before technology. There is something fun about putting a letter in the mailbox and then waiting days for a reply. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think I am just being a "hipster- Tumblr girl" caught up in my nostalgia. Maybe you're right. But- I highly encourage anyone that hasn't written a letter to someone in a while to send one! You might experience some of the same nostalgia and appreciation that I did. Now, this isn't to say that I am going to delete social media and throw out my cell phone. I am not planning to revert back to writing hand written letters as my form of communication. However, writing one every now and then can be fun!