Yesterday, the 29th of October, which may also be referred to as Frankenstorm Sandy Welcome Day/Earthquakes in Arkansas Day, marked my 11th handwritten letter to the United States. What started this old-fashioned way of communication? Before leaving for the Netherlands back in August, a friend of mine decided that we should stay in communication via letters, just like how things used to be up until recently. I thought this would be a great practice to undertake, so I dove into writing once I had the particulars of the Dutch mail system down (where to buy stamps, how to write addresses, what was my address, things of that nature).
More recently – Wednesday of last week to be precise – I realized that I had an abundant supply of stamps that I had bought, with them going unused for a month. I thought it would be time to see if anyone back home desired a simple letter, allowing me to use up my supply of stamps without worrying of having leftovers. I wrote a mere, slight comment about it in a status update on Facebook, expecting maybe just 1 or 2 interested parties…
… Instead, I got about 9 requests from others back home. This excited me to no end, but upon finishing my first letter (after nearly 3 hours of writing, thank you silly script hand for being a slowpoke), I realized this was going to be a far more daunting task then realized.
I did have to make a trip to purchase more stamps, which I was actually totally cool with, and continued my journey to write. I cranked out roughly 2 per day, juggling between the letters and classwork. In the end, after more than a dozen pages written (on various sizes of paper, no less), I accomplished my task!
So, what be the point of this post? Sure, email is great. Facebook is fantastic. SMS is a godsend. But that old school method of pen and paper is about the best technology has to offer. It’s by far more connective of the writer to the reader than any form of communication, aside from that which is conducted in person. Script writing itself is an art form, and practicing any form of art is good on the person (aside from a sore wrist of incessantly writing for 3 hours).
Just as much as I would encourage to take up biking to get around town, I encourage all to take up hand writing when making casual communication with a fellow friend or family member. It’s a greater, more communicative interaction – sure, you may not be able to send those lovely animated gifs or auto-tuned news stories, but don’t you get a little of those after a while?
I know that I will be taking up letter writing more often when communicating with friends and others.