When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? For millions of people, the answer could be never.
In this modern age of email, texting and a bevy of other ways to contact people instantly, letter writing has fallen by the wayside. These days most communication is short, highly abbreviated and sent electronically. Who takes the time to write long letters that are only meant to be read by one person?
An Old Fashioned Approach
Years ago, the best way to share your stories was to draft a letter, put it in a self-addressed envelope, attach a stamp and send it out through the local post office. In the days before cell phones and personal computers, letter writing was the easiest and most economical way to stay in touch.
Today the concept of mailing a letter, especially one written by hand, is all but unheard of. That may be starting to change.
No More Empty Mailboxes
A letter writing revival is underway thanks to the efforts of Yale and Vassar students Maggie Cooper and Annabeth Carroll. They formed The Society for the Prevention of Empty Mailboxes, a group dedicated to bringing back the art of long-form letter writing. Their inspiration came from a pen pal ad for pre-teen girls – and wondering why kids should have all the fun.
Cooper and Carroll may have felt a hint of irony when they chose the best platform to promote their new society: Facebook. They created an Event and invited people to commit to writing and mailing letters to pen pals, at least throughout the summer. 272 people agreed to participate, and to avoid contacting each other online.
Why A Letter?
You can IM someone and chat in real time. You can send an email that arrives in any Inbox instantly. You can blog and share your thoughts with everyone who cares to read them. So why take the time to write and mail a letter?
For some, writing the letter is a cathartic experience. People are more likely to take their time and truly express themselves in a letter than an email. It’s a great way to convey your emotions.
Receiving a letter is another great incentive. Some people relate finding a letter in their mailbox to discovering an unexpected gift. It’s something tangible that you can unwrap, hold in your hands and take with you. Opening a letter is an entirely different feeling than clicking on the next email or reading a short text.
What Would You Say?
So what do these word enthusiasts write about when it’s time to fill a blank page with nothing but their own thoughts? The simple answer is: whatever they want. Writers tell pen pals about their hopes and dreams, movies they’ve seen, recent activities and most everything else that comes to mind. You can write about anything; the important thing is to share your thoughts, and your life, with another human being.
The Society for the Prevention of Empty Mailboxes consists of college students, but anyone can start their own letter-writing revival. Sending an unexpected letter is sure way to surprise and thrill the recipient. Imagine the joy you’d feel if you opened your mailbox, expecting nothing but bills, and discovered a personal letter sent by a friend from your past.
Want to join in the letter writing fun? Brighten someone’s day by reaching out to them through the mail. You’ll be shocked by how much it means to them. Enjoy your letter writing adventure and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.