All The Emojis In The World Can’t Replace A Pen

Posted by

Yes, as you may know I admit I’m one of those who remember when we wrote letters, put stamps on them, and mailed them. Domestic ones took a couple of days to reach an intended recipient. International letters might require a week or more, so it could take a minimum of two weeks (two weeks!) to receive an answer if the recipient hurriedly wrote back, stamped and mailed a response in time to make the next day’s mail:

Post Box, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. Painted gold to mark Ed McKeever's 2012 Gold Medal Men’s Canoe Sprint Kayak Single 200m. [Photo by me, 2015.]
Post Box, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire. Painted gold to mark Ed McKeever’s 2012 Gold Medal Men’s Canoe Sprint Kayak Single 200m. [Photo by me, 2015.]

I believe we’ve lost something with the demise of handwritten letter-writing. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wouldn’t want to go back to pre-email. It’s just there was – and is – something extra-special about receiving a handwritten letter.

The early-1990s saw the beginnings of email for us ordinary people, but it was still an oddity. Electronic written instant communication was nowhere near as common as it is now. Letter-writing was still the norm:

Excerpt from "Frontiers," on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Frontiers,” on the iPad app for Kindle. Click to expand.

Yes, yes, we also still read “paper” newspapers in those days, too.

As an “old” married guy myself now, let me offer a word of advice to you younger ones. True, you might not find yourself separated from her temporarily by an ocean. But even if she’s merely across town, or even only in the next dorm building, she will almost certainly still appreciate a surprise handwritten letter.

Emojis have their place in our lives, of course; but consider putting your mobile phone down, picking up an ACTUAL ink-filled pen, a piece of paper, and locating an envelope (and, if needed, a stamp). A handwritten letter demonstrates you devoted your full attention to her and put some real effort and thought into it. You couldn’t have tapped it out in just a few seconds and hit “send.”

In return, also be aware of this. Given “social media” in 2016, naturally she is probably on Facebook, Instagram, and who knows what else. However, if she is also taking the time to compose handwritten notes to you, I suspect, uh, well, she must care about you quite a lot.

2 comments

  1. Agreed! I really like receiving handwritten letters – it’s really so much more fun to open an envelope than to click on an email to open it! Sadly i’ve had to throw out many cards and letters from long ago as part of a decluttering exercise. i guess practically zero storage requirements is an advantage of email!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ability of us to easily store TONS of messages in email is certainly a big positive. But when it comes to paper, I think we have (had?) to be more discerning. With only limited space in our flat or house, we eventually could keep only the REALLY IMPORTANT stuff!!!!!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Further thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s