If you’re looking to strengthen your relationships, spend some time away from screens, and indulge in a rejuvenating activity, try writing letters. In this article, I’ll outline seven reasons that I love sending snail mail. I hope that these reasons will inspire you to put pen to paper, too!
I have loved to write letters since I learned how to read circa 1995! One of my aunts was kind enough to be my penpal (she lived two hours away, which required long distance calls … letters were cheaper). I still cherish the thrill of finding her letters in our PO Box! I’ve carried that strong enthusiasm for snail mail into adulthood. Today, I’d like to share the seven reasons that sending letters remains an excellent way to communicate — perhaps now more than ever.
1. You Can Enjoy a Digital Detox
Communication these days is incredibly easy. Facetime, phone calls, emails, DMs, and texts keep us connected. In this digital age, however, it’s vital to remember that while screens connect us, they can also strain our physical and mental health. That’s why it’s important to step away from the screen for a “digital detox”, even if that detox only lasts for a handful of minutes. If you like the idea of a digital detox, you’ll love how writing a letter helps you to keep in touch without technological devices.
2. It’s Easy to Reconnect in a Considerate Way
Sometimes, a heartfelt letter is the most meaningful way to reconnect with a long-lost friend. Sending a text, making a phone call, or firing off an email might feel too sudden. Modern communication often demands prompt replies, creating unintended pressure. A handwritten letter, in contrast, is a thoughtful and soft approach, particularly if it’s been ages since you last touched base.
3. Write Letters for Tangible Memories
At the risk of making myself sound like a luddite, the problem with electronic messages is eventually they disappear. Sure, electronic messages are searchable, but they can be tedious to sift through if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. And there are compatibility questions … half a century from now, will we still be able to read today’s texts? Letters are one thing that you can count on for lasting memories! I have a box of letters dating back two decades, and I love to get it out every once in a while and reminisce.
4. You Can Personalize Letters in a Unique Way
When you communicate via text, you’re limited as to how you can say what you want to say. Sure, you can make text bold or add an emoji, but there’s nothing like a hand-written letter to convey emotion! When you write a letter, you can switch up your writing style to emphasize things, make a little illustration of something you want to describe, or use your handwriting to (perhaps unintentionally) convey an emotional state in general. You can also curate the materials that you write on and customize your writing utensils.
5. Letters Make an Impression
I already mentioned that I remember letters fondly as a special part of my childhood! But, honestly, I don’t think that you have to be a certain age to love receiving letters. Now that I’m in my 30s, I still love getting snail mail! I’ve carried on my aunt’s tradition of sending the occasional letter to my little nieces in Kansas. They really enjoy the experience of receiving my letters, especially since I take care to include pretty little trinkets (like stickers and washi tape), and I write in short words that they can sound out.
6. You Can Send Little Gifts
One thing I love about snail mail is you don’t have to just send a letter! Your snail mail can include little goodies that will delight the recipient. For example, take a look at the photo below of everything that I included in my letter to a dear friend. The packet included a calligraphy ampersand, some magnets, a couple of recipes, a three-page letter, and a lovely envelope.
7. Writing Letters is Therapeutic
No matter what your situation, a quiet time-out is never out of place! At my house, I have a favorite letter-writing spot and time: in the corner of our basement couch, always in the evening before bed. With two rambunctious young children keeping me on my toes, writing letters provides a welcome, relaxing retreat — one that my children let me indulge in without protest. (Now, if I’m on my laptop, that’s another story!) Once I finish a letter, I always have the contented feeling that I’ve had a conversation with a good friend.
If you have input on sending snail mail, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Some people absolutely love it, while others would prefer to stay in touch via text and emails. What do you think? If you have a second, I’d love to hear your input!