Over the weekend, I put together an article for the Thriveworks Blog under that same title (I added the “please” just for you guys) and stressed the importance of maintaining a culture of meaningful letter-writing.
The reason I write with such haste is simple: Digital communication, with all of its bells and whistles, has a major flaw. Yes, we can send thousands of texts to numerous people and have inboxes with thousands of emails, but in 100 years, what record of your existence will remain?
Let’s say your email does last 100 years and some kind of apocalypse doesn’t happen (or this technology doesn’t become completely obsolete). Who is actually going to sift through thousands of emails and, let’s face it, junk mail you’ve been using to correspond with people for years? We don’t even like organizing our inboxes.
That is why I cheer for letter-writing. Think about it: Where does a lot of our knowledge about human history come from? Sure, we have official records, but what do we use to gain an insightful analysis of the world at hand?
We typically use journals and letters. Now, I’ve encouraged journal-writing enough for one lifetime, and it is valuable in its own right. But handwritten letters are unique in that they don’t just convey introspection. They shed light on the messages we felt the need to impart on people we care about. I have a feeling that letters like that are more valuable than a four-part text we sent to our ex in 2010.
I’m not trying to disparage on anyone who does have meaningful interactions with emails and text messages. Messages are messages, and how you communicate isn’t always relevant. Still, I take more comfort in knowing that my handwritten letters (and journals) will have more of an emotional impact on the people who read them long after I’m gone.
Don’t take your words for granted. I know a lot of people who are reading this are great writers who take pride in their love for the written word. That is why we should be the ones who are trying are darndest to write online and offline. Our kids, grandkids, and future alien overlords will likely thank us for it.
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