We live in a world that functions around text messages, email and social media. People write messages in less than 30 seconds then send it out into the world. These fleeting thoughts are often impulsive. As a result, they can also be inaccurate or hurtful. People ultimately delete these quick communications and the message is lost forever. Nothing is quite the same as the purposeful action of putting a pen to paper to write a letter.
The idea of sending a letter or greeting card is almost laughable to the youth of today. They prefer the instant gratification of pressing a send button and getting their thoughts acknowledged in mere minutes. But is this contributing to the selfishness in the world? Do we expect too much, too soon as a result of technology? When people wrote letters, they re-read them to make sure they were accurate. Now people send abbreviated messages that are almost unreadable to the older generation. Writing a letter requires thought and effort. We think about what we want to say and can tear up the letter if it doesn't quite reflect how we feel. Once a text message it sent, it is often read in seconds. The damage is done if we were angry or upset at the moment.
Few people cherish emails, text messages and social media entries. During times of war. soldiers sent love letters to their wives and girlfriends at home. These letters were kept in boxes and became a part of the rich history of many countries. Poets also wrote letters and helped define the face of modern poetry. In the Providence Journal, Simon Garfield writes about the importance of sending letters. He is also the author of “To The Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing.” He mentions the letters of poets such as John Keats and Emily Dickinson. These letters have become a legacy as well as an example of the emotion of poetry.
We can go as far back the the letters of Paul to the Romans. In Romans 1:1-15, he stated, "Greetings from Paul, an Apostle of the Gospel of the risen Christ, son of God. Paul thanks God for the church in Rome, and longs to share the Gospel with them in person." He letters communicate about the heart and soul of the Gospel, what Jesus means to people and how to lead a Christian life. Imagine if these writings were sent via text message, email or social media? These imperative messages might have been lost or adulterated.
While it might not be the popular way to communicate, try sending a letter to a loved one. Sometimes we claim there isn't enough time to visit someone or pick up the phone. The act of sending a fast text or email is impersonal. We can take a few minutes to write a letter expressing how much we love and miss someone. The cost of a stamp is cheap and the recipient is sure to feel a more personal touch. If you know someone who is in a hospital or housebound, sending letters helps them feel connected.
Businesses can also send mail to remain connected with customers. Instead of a constant barrage of marketing messages, simply send a card to thank a customer for doing business with you. Forward a card or letter to congratulate them on a promotion or celebrate a recent birthday. Businesses that offer this personal touch are also sure to stand out from the competition. Customers are sure to be surprised when they receive a greeting card from a business they use.
Our world is fast-paced. Consider the longevity of the letters of the Bible. Do His work by lifting a pen and writing a positive message on a piece of paper. While fancy stationery is fun to use, the paper can be a basic piece you take from your computer printer. It takes less than ten minutes to write a letter and send it to someone you care about. This letter could be kept for years to come. The person might read it many times and hold it dear to his or her heart. It will be a constant reminder that someone loves them. You just can't do that with a text message.