With constant technological advances, and communication tools being established as a staple of everyday life, the handwritten letter has fallen by the wayside as some kind of ancient, archaic practice seemingly performed by our most distant ancestors. In fact, they are so uncommon, that the United States Postal Service showed in a survey that the average household in 2010 received one handwritten letter every 7 weeks. 8 years later, I can imagine this number has only decreased.
With this huge influx of digital mail, text messages, tweets, and whatever other forms of communication we do online, the handwritten letter has become such a rarity that our communication is being dehumanized, as if we’re not really feeling any emotion for the person on the other side of our plastic messaging devices. It really is ironic how technological innovations, celebrated for their “enhanced” processes, offering “improved” communications are truly having the opposite effect.
Below are the 5 reasons I believe every gentleman should make handwritten letters a fundamental tool in their arsenal of manliness.
1. They are Personal
A handwritten letter is something you write specifically for the recipient. When you write a handwritten letter, everything about it is carefully done with the recipient in mind. This is a part of the reason that handwritten letters feel so great to receive. The way you write them, the words you choose, and the emotions you put into it are all reflected exactly in the way the letter is written, and can be felt by the reader. The more personal and tailored your letter is to the recipient, the better it will be received.
2. They Show Someone You Care
Handwritten letters show the recipient how much you care. Not only can you make it very personal, but the time it takes to handwrite a letter, seal it, take it to the post office, and send it is way more valuable than the time it would have taken to open Gmail and send it directly to them, and they know that. People who care about you value your time, and when they can see that you’ve spent it preparing something personal just for them, they will always appreciate it.
3. Every Word Counts
When you hand-write a letter, every word you choose has to be the right one. Unless you write up a draft before writing the actual letter, you have to take some time to carefully plan each sentence word by word to make sure that you’re saying exactly what you mean to, in exactly the way you intended. There is no autocorrect, spell check, or delete button. It has to be right the first time. What this means, however, is that you’re required to really take your time and think hard about what you are writing and why, and the recipient will understand and appreciate the effort that goes into it. Additionally, even the mistakes will show that you are putting effort. When the reader see that you were aware to your word choice to the point that you selected one word, thought of a better one, and replaced it, they will be able to see the effort put into the letter.
4. They Create a Tangible Keepsake
Everybody loves to hold onto little things that spark good feelings or happy memories. My girlfriend especially is one who loves to keep handwritten letters, because she knows that she can always look back at them and not only see how far our relationship has come and our love has grown, but she can be reminded of the feelings I have for her whenever she wants. This effect can be delivered in any kind of letter. You can write letters that say “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” “thank you,” “I enjoyed meeting you,” and even “goodbye.” But the beautiful thing about each kind is that it can allow you capture an emotion the same way a camera can capture a moment. It is a snapshot in time of the thoughts you had, the feelings you felt, or the things you never want to forget.
5. They are Timeless
The final reason I think every gentleman should write handwritten letters is that they will never go out of style. A letter mailed to a family member, acquaintance, co-worker, or other loved one will always be more personal and well-received than an email or text message. As gentlemen, it is our duty to show people we care and to show them how much we care, and letters are an excellent way to do that. From my experience, nobody will ever receive your letter and think it is old-fashioned, outdated, or out of style. They always think about the time you put into it, how nice it is to feel some emotion in an increasingly emotionless society, and they always feel appreciated.
Do you have any different thoughts? Did I leave something out? Let me know in the comments, or email me at email@example.com!
If you want to share your thoughts on this article, join the discussion on Facebook or leave a comment below!