Hand-written letters are vanishing as digital communication escalates


In a generation completely overrun by technology, handwritten letters are sadly disappearing.

Each day around the world, at least 15 billion texts and 200 billion emails are sent.

In a book called ‘To the Letter,’ written by Simon Garfield, the author said that since people have replaced letters with texting and emails, there has been a complete loss of “individuality and authenticity.”

Although people are definitely ‘connected’ with all the high powered social media and ways to communicate within seconds, a handwritten letter “links two particular persons” in a more personal way. One of the reasons is that words on a screen don’t “hold any power.”

A letter is physical and allows the individuals writing it to have power over the “narrative of their lives.” In his book, Garfield writes that letter-writing differs from texts because “the whole of our hands and not just the tips of our fingers.”

There isn’t immediate communication when writing and sending letters. There is a time gap between when someone writes the letter to when someone actually receives it in the mail.

Although there is a delay in communication, Nina Sankovitvh, author of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” wrote that there is “something wonderful about that interval.”

Letter-writing has also been categorized as a more feminine activity. In “The Oxford Book of Letters,” written by Frank and Anita Kermode, said that “a great many of the most accomplished letter-writers have been women.”

In a time where an immediate response is ideal for communication, letter-writing might not resurface anytime soon. People expect a quick response and have no time for a delay.

Although handwritten letters are losing importance, a vital lesson of the “personal letter” is that “it shifts and changes, proving what we call intimacy, individuality or authenticity does not transcend time – or remain locked in history.”

See the full story on Aeon.com.


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