It is the year 2021. Technology is advancing faster than ever. Now we can pick up our smartphones and easily send a message to anyone. As much as I love how swift we’re able to communicate, there are times where I feel emotionless with the texts I receive.
For example, I would reply “hahaha” without genuinely laughing at the jokes that my friends send to me. Especially during the lockdown period, I feel disconnected from the world of real human interaction.
During the lockdown, there were times where I was down. Moments of losing motivation and at the brink of giving up (I bet I am not the only one, as most of us are still coping up with the new norm).
Sometimes a walk in the park helps or a call with your close friends. But for how long can we continue doing this, especially when the places we can go are limited and talking online feels different in a sad way.
The Feeling of Reading a letter
One day while cleaning my room, I stumble upon a goodie bag that contains all the written letters I ever received. Throughout my time at university, I joined several events. My friends often wrote letters during our most challenging times as an act of motivation or appreciation.
I casually sat down and read those letters. Little did I know, those letters would make my day even brighter and give me a much-needed boost. You see, when I first received those letters, they had no impact on me, it was only now that I could appreciate them.
Time passed by quickly. Without having a moment to pause and think, we live life as it goes. Reading those letters made me realize how much I had grown as a person and how many things had changed around me.
It felt like traveling back to those moments and reliving them. Reflecting, you can see how other people have impacted your life. In a way, you get this sense of appreciation and gratitude for the person you are today.
Is it unique to get a letter today? Imagine getting an appreciation message from your close friend. A few months later, you have to scroll for so long to find back that particular message. How about years later? Will we even remember such a message exists?
A letter is a physical thing that we can keep in a safe box for years to come. The sentimental values that you get, reading them a few decades later, the stories that you can tell your child or grandchild from the letters you receive, creating everlasting memories of your life.
"A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend." -- Emily Dickinson
The Feeling of Writing a letter
Writing a letter can have the same impact as receiving one.
Using a pen and a piece of paper. Sitting down and collecting all your thoughts and emotions that you have for the person receiving the letter. Writing and expressing those feelings, putting on the stamp, and finally posting it.
Seems like a long process, right? But doing this in a world where everything is going super-fast, shows how much you care for them. The effort and time you put in the letter are more likely to remain in your memory. These allow you to reflect and appreciate them again in the future.
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you make a close friend’s day, writing a letter also helps to better your mood by reducing stress and make your mood better for the day. It is similar to writing about your future goals or keeping a gratitude journal, sharing your genuine thoughts with another person can be quite the morale booster.
Apart from that, we can also use some extra screen-free time from our laptops and smartphones. Those few moments of your writing, you will be able to live entirely in the present moment with the thoughts that you are putting on the paper.
Writing a letter doesn’t always need another person, you can also write to your future self. It is like communicating in a time capsule. You can send your future self a note or reminder of what had happened in your life.
Reading your letter in the future lets you see how your life trajectory has changed since writing it. It also makes you pause and think about what you are doing. In case you ever experience amnesia, these letters will come in handy, reminding you of who you are and what you have been going through.
Writing isn't letters on paper. It's communication. It's memory - Isaac Marion
Hopefully, this article gives you some reason why you should pick up that pen, paper and write a letter for your loved ones. Let’s embrace it and keep an old way of communication sacred and persevere.
Computers and smartphones may prove more efficient, but they can never take the place of this kind of sentimental history. Make your close friends’ day by writing a letter to them.
To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart - Phyllis Theroux