April 14, 2018 3 min read

Do you write letters anymore?  When was the last time?  Can you remember?

Not an email or a text.  An actual letter.  Putting pen to crisp, white paper.  The beautiful embossed kind without lines.

Does anyone write letters anymore? Or did life just get too busy; too fast ……………….

Why a letter when a direct message on Facebook or Instagram will do?

How about birthday cards?  Even handwritten cards are fast being replaced by the digital kind.

We're living in an era of "digital transformation." Today, everyone is connected to the internet at all times, through their laptop, smartphone or tablet. What's more, we're spending more time connecting with people through those digital channels, instead of holding face-to-face conversations.

It's much more convenient to send someone a quick message on social media when you want to speak to them than to go and visit them in person. This is particularly true if the person you're connecting with is located out of town or overseas. However, while digital communication has its benefits, it's also beginning to take some of the humanity out of our interactions.

Quicker, minimum-word text messages and social media updates are taking over the world, and people are starting to abandon meaningful moments in exchange for a tech-focused interaction that adheres to their fast-paced lifestyle. The question is, should we let this change in communication transform the interactions that matter most?

Why "Handwritten" Is Better for Meaningful Moments

While a quick message to a coworker or a confirmation that you're on your way to a meeting can be sent quickly over the digital airwaves, it's important to remember that communication isn't always about speed. The best messages come from the heart, and usually that means sitting down with a pen and thinking about what you want to say.

A quick message sent over Facebook when the social media platform reminds you of someone's birthday doesn't show how much you value the relationship you have with that person. Taking the time to choose a card with the perfect picture and fill it out with a unique birthday message makes your interaction with a loved one so much more meaningful.

With so many keyboards and screens available to us today, the recipients of hand-written cards know that you've made a deliberate choice to forgo the easy option and choose something that's specifically tailored to them. A handwritten card proves that the other person is important to you. In some cases, the evidence that you care can even make up for the lack of an additional gift. After all, many of us grew up learning that when it comes to birthdays and celebrations, "it's the thought that counts."

Creative Handwritten Cards Build Memories

While you might not consider filling out a birthday card to be one of the most complex tasks, it does require some thought and creativity. Writing combines the visual, cognitive, and motor processes in your brain, and forces you to slow down and think about each word as you write it.

This slower, more deliberate approach to connecting with another person means that you genuinely consider how the message you're sending will make someone else feel. You might even find yourself adding extra flourishes to the text, like doodled pictures and kisses.

The small creative "extras" that go into a handwritten birthday card are the things that make them more meaningful and memorable. Some people even hold onto their birthday cards for years at a time, particularly when they feature important messages and loving comments. A message written in a birthday card can continue to delight and inspire someone for months and years to come. On the other hand, digital comments are quickly drowned out by the masses and forgotten about.

While digital communication might be suitable for those automatic, fast-paced responses that we send every day, SMS messages and Facebook comments can't convey the true emotion of human connections.

Letters and birthday cards deserve a message with soul, and the only way to give them that extra meaning is to infuse them with your own handwritten note.

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