No one is sitting at their wooden desk anymore, writing with ink and quill, like Emily Dickinson or Lemony Snicket. People rarely send out personal mail.
It has gotten to the point where mail stamp prices have more than doubled from their 1988 rate of 25 cents to the current 55 cents. Letter writing has become so extinct that post offices are considering taking away Friday and Saturday deliveries.
Newer technology makes people more inclined to text or send an email rather than get their hands moving on a smooth sheet of paper.
Yet some people still find time to write letters, lick envelopes, and mail their letters to close family or even themselves.
“I write letters approximately every two months to my grandfather,” said Ms. Wu, a seventh-grade English teacher.
Although handwritten letters seem old-fashioned or out of style, it’s a beautiful way to express yourself, and say exactly what you’re thinking or what you’re feeling. Whether it’s writing a note to a stranger you see in a coffee shop or writing a detailed letter to a loved one, a handwritten note can be a gift. You could even be writing a letter to yourself. It could mean so much more than a silly acronym like “wyd” or “omg.”
“I feel like, when writing, there’s a new mindstate, ” said Sofia A., who writes letters to herself and friends. “You’re in a new world. Texting is just passing time.”
As letters become more and more rare, their value increases.
“I tend to hold on to those things,” said Ms. Wu. “Whenever I want to reflect on that person, or maybe I’m having a rough day where I want to look back on those things, I pull them out. I do look at them, and not only that, I think it would be neat for my son to see those things.”
There’s a joy in writing and receiving a letter. Your thought process expands, and you feel more productive.
“I’ve written things just to myself a lot, so I can get my emotions sorted out,” said Sofia.
When you write or receive a letter, you can hold onto those things. It may help you feel more productive and happy. The worlds of texting and the worlds of writing are very different, but neither one should become extinct.