When I was about 10 years old, I remember quite clearly, how I would cultivate relationships with several pen pals. We would write letters back and forth, I assume mostly about trivial things. Back then, it was quite a normal thing to write letters by hand, and drop it in the mail, only to arrive a few days later in your friend’s mailbox.
Today, when we are all constantly interconnected through the tips of our fingers. When it’s hard to not react to a notification, that just popped up on our phones. In a time, when you have to force yourself to disconnect or have to use mechanisms to do so like “do not disturb” mode. Today it’s a crazy idea to write a letter by hand and mail it – it shifts the paradigm of our time and reason.
I don’t write much by hand any more. To the point that it feels strange to write a letter by hand actually. It feels foreign.
A while back I read an article about “How Modern Noncommunication Is Changing Our Experience of Time, Solitude, and Communion“. It made me think a lot about how we communicate nowadays, and how the mediums we use to stay in touch with friends effect content depth and intention of the message. It feels the more “connected” we are to each other at all times, the less real connections we often build. We tend to allocate less time to cultivating deep friendships.
So in February I decided to offer to write letters by hand to all my friends who’d like to receive one. Three responded with excitement and I’m still corresponding through snail mail with them today. Of course we also use text messages to communicate day to day, but I love taking the time to craft a thoughtful letter as a response to theirs. My intention is to put a smile on their face when they read it 🙂 I think so far I’m succeeding.