Is the hand-written letter becoming obsolete?

Susan Jane By Susan Jane, 6th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3khexdah/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Society & Issues

How long is it since you sent somebody a hand-written letter? How long is it since you have written and sent one? It is so easy to send a text or an email to convey information or greetings to friends. Hand-written letters are becoming less relevant in today’s technology driven society.

The dying art of writing a formal letter

Hand-written letters are becoming a less frequent way of communicating with friends or people in general. It is often more convenient to dash off a text or an email if the recipient is hooked into modern technology.Is the hand-written letter going to become obsolete? I think so, given time. As the aging, non tech-savvy population disappears from this earth, so will the hand-written letter.I like to write letters, but like most people, I don’t have time to sit and hand-write correspondence very often. However, I love the actual process of hand-writing a letter. It has that something extra about it that an email doesn’t have. It shows that time has been taken to choose some note paper, find a pen, write the letter and post it at a red letter box for delivery by the postal service. I try to imagine the pleasure it will give the recipient when they go to their mailbox and find something other than a bill or junk mail.In past times, a hand-written “thank you note” was something you always sent when a person did you a favour or invited you to dine at their home. It was considered to be “proper etiquette”. There was always something pleasing about receiving one of these hand-written “thank you note” is also becoming a thing of the past.

Text talk

Sending a text message is becoming the way to communicate short messages. Emails tend to be longer and full of information too large for a text. Both modern communication methods have taken over from the humble hand-written letter.I am not all that into texting, but on occasion I send them. I have even succumbed to using “text talk”.Gr8 to see U Sat. Hope we can get 2gether again soon.See U 2morrow @ 10.What texting seems to promote is lack of face-to-face contact with friends and associates. I have even heard of people sitting at the same dinner table texting each other. I think this is rude and unnecessary conduct. But that’s just my spin on it.

Emails for everything

Email communications have become the norm in business and for personal interaction. There is almost instant interaction with the person you are emailing. Large document attachments can be on their way to the other side of the World in seconds.Imagine the savings for a business in postal charges?

Love letters

Some readers will be old enough to remember sending or receiving a “love letter”. I have a collection in a box somewhere. Cards and letters sent by past boyfriends expressing undying love and lots of mushy stuff. Long ago they were too precious to destroy. Now they are just too interesting – almost like antique communications.In these times a love letter could be something like this – sent by text:Luv U. See ya soon. Cant w8.Don’t wanna see U any more. We R finished!Texts are used for all types of social and romantic interaction. Sometimes they are saved, but mostly they are probably deleted. You can’t go back 20 or 30 years later and re-read messages of love. Should you want to?Maybe some people send beautiful poems by text to the one they love. I have never received one.

The humble local Post Office

Post Offices everywhere have had to pick up the loss by turning into a “one stop shop”. They are stocking stationery, gifts, DVDs and many other items formerly not available at a postal outlet. They have to make a profit somehow. It is now easier to buy a small gift at a local Post Office than to spend time and money trekking to a shopping centre to seek one out a gift shop or chain store. They are taking up the slack and turning a downturn in postal mail into a marketing opportunity.

When will the hand-written letter become obsolete?

I don’t think it will be very long before the hand-written letter becomes obsolete. The baby boomer generation are very tech-savvy. It is their parents who have not climbed on board to a great extent. When these people have passed on, it is almost sure that the hand-written letter will die a natural death too – in the not too distant future.Is that good or bad? Is it sad? I guess that depends on how much a person values the more personal forms of interaction.

Become a Wikinutapply here

Read my other pages –

Internet penfriends can become treasured friends

Healing my broken spirit

Tags

Courtesy, Emails, Handwriting, Letters, Love, Manners, Post Offices, Social Interaction, Texts

Meet the author

author avatar Susan Jane
I am an Australian professional writer/editor. My focus is celebrity news with an Australian focus, nutrition, animal welfare, travel, aged care, and instructions for fiction and non-fiction writing.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Susan Jane
7th May 2013 (#)

Thank you Steve. Great to get another page up. More to come.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th May 2013 (#)

Thoughtful post Susan Jane. I too feel for the slow eclipse of hand written letter and note. I still cherish face-to-face interaction but that is also becoming history. Some are too busy fiddling with their mobile phones even when we meet them. We are slowly becoming robots devoid of human feelings and values - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Susan Jane
7th May 2013 (#)

I totally agree Siva. But we can't stop change. I wonder what will come next?

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mariah
7th May 2013 (#)

Your article is so reflective of
life today Susan.
Where we used to lift the phone and chat, though it's more convenient to text now,
personal communication has sadly taken a back seat.
I agree with you totally that
it's so nice to send and receive a wee thank you card
and a hand written letter.
Our generation are more likely
to continue that, but as you say, it's more than probable these personal touches will become a thing of the past, sad.
Very interesting and well written page Susan
Thank you
Mariah

Reply to this comment

author avatar Susan Jane
7th May 2013 (#)

Glad you liked my opinion on this Mariah. Thanks.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Stella Mitchell
7th May 2013 (#)

Yes Susan , many of us rue the day when a quick text replaced the letter in the post ,even though we are caught up in it ourselves . I would much rather hear the voice of a friend than read . How R U ? But , such is the day we live in , so for that , I must be content .
God bless you .
Stella >I<

Reply to this comment

author avatar Susan Jane
7th May 2013 (#)

Bless U 2 Stella. Just kidding!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Delicia Powers
7th May 2013 (#)

Yes I fear this too Susan Jane, not just because Mike is a rural mail carrier... but something more is lost in a text... I just found a note my Dad had written me many years ago about some trivial matter- he has be gone many years now- but in looking at that note- I saw again his work worn hands writing it and his smile only brought back to me by this note- faded forgotten by time.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Susan Jane
7th May 2013 (#)

How nice to find that note, Delicia. I often find bits and pieces around the house that were written by my Mum. I save them and often re-read them. It makes you feel close to the person who wrote the note.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Songbird B
8th May 2013 (#)

I am like you Susan Jane, I love the handwritten letters that I used to receive through the post. Nowadays even most celebratory cards are by text or email..We are losing something very precious in our ever increasing hi-tech lives..

Reply to this comment

author avatar Susan Jane
8th May 2013 (#)

Well - a few of us can still keep this tradition alive, but it is becoming more difficult as people become time poor. Thanks for your comment.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Carol
14th May 2013 (#)

Great post, I am gulity myself of emailing people for quickness, but do write to some who don't have a computer.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password