Saturday, August 6, 2011

Letters or emails?

Our eldest daughter has moved 100 kilometres away to university. We often communicate by email and she has told me how formal my emails are.
I wrote her a letter last week (on paper and with a pen) and found my language was more natural. I wonder if it is a generational thing. I came to computers and email through work whereas my kids have always used computers socially. I do write chatty emails to family and friends but I realise now they are more formal than a handwritten letter. I love buying pretty notepads and envelopes and have quite a collection. It is time to start writing letters again.

A bit old fashioned you say? Yes, but I get a thrill when a handwritten envelope is amongst the pile of bills I have picked up from the post office.

What will happen in years to come when no-one writes on paper and everything is done electronically. Do we still write love letters or is a quick email or text the way to go? I don’t think printing out and keeping a pile of emails is the same as tying up your love letters in their envelopes with a ribbon and hiding them in the bottom drawer for your family to find after you have gone.

There is also such an expectation now to respond immediately to emails. What pressure it places on people to send off something quickly rather than to sit down and think about the reply.

Writing a letter of complaint must be more satisfying if you actually write the letter and put it in the post box. It must be harder to fob off an actual piece of paper than an electronically sent email. I would hope the recipient of such a letter would think twice about throwing a handwritten letter in the bin and actually read it. 

Would Bridget Jones have been so taken with that awful Daniel if he had not started sending her saucy emails? Meg Ryan would have met Tom Hanks anyway!

I wonder how we will correspond in a hundred years. For now I am going back to my pen and paper and maybe I will write a love letter to my husband. Or will I send him a quick email?

Goal for the week:
  • Write a letter to a friend
I have just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I had heard so much about this book and loved it. The joy of letters!

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