I am getting pretty good at using social media both in business, and to keep in touch with friends and family, but … call me crazy, call me old fashioned… sometimes, I think I lack some important etiquette skills… like writing friendly letters.
Sure, some could argue that friendly letters aren’t necessary anymore, since email and text messaging are the norm these days. Yes, electronic messaging is quick, its convenient, and easy to use, and there is the added benefit of not having to use good grammar or paragraph formatting.
But still, I find myself missing the tactile feel, and ultimate surprise of finding a real letter delivered to the box attached to my house. I think we’ve lost the personal touch that comes with writing and receiving a friendly letter from a friend, or relative. I mean I’ll admit, it’s rough if you have to find a pen that works, find decent paper, sit down and remember how to actually form the cursive letters you learned in fourth grade – not to mention think about a main idea, details, an introduction, and a closure – without a backspace or delete key – in full words and sentences no less, and – with no helpful emoticons! Whew! And don’t even get me started on finding home addresses!
I must say though, I’m thankful that as a family, we have had the opportunity to use our penmanship in the form of thank you notes quite recently, due to two successive graduations. It has been an exercise in both creativity and discipline.
Mostly, I think Facebook has made me kind of lazy when in comes to staying in touch with old friends. Sure, it’s a great way to find them. However, once they’re found and I’ve viewed their newest profile picture, or read what they’ve posted on their wall, I don’t really feel I’ve reconnected with them on a personal level. To do that, I think, requires a bit more effort. Short of whetting a knife to sharpen a goose quill, and dipping that into india ink every three or four words, what better way to reconnect and catch-up with each other’s lives than through an old fashioned hand written letter?
I’ve decided to grab the closest pen, marker or crayon, and start now to hand write some personalized notes, or in some cases an entire friendly letter to a few close friends and relatives who aren’t on Facebook.
Who’s with me?