Friday, October 9, 2009

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I would like to know how many of you out there actually receive letters from friends or family in the mail? Come on, raise those hands! That’s what I thought….no one. In our tek-no-logical world, sadly, the use of pen and paper to communicate with others has become an obsolete form of communication.

Many years ago, before the invention of the telephone, it was the ONLY way to communicate with others who lived far away, or right next door, because occasionally right next door was 10 miles down the road. Writing a letter is a lost art in and of itself. Art, you say? Letter writing is not an art! Yes, it is.

A few months ago, realistically closer to a year ago, I purchased a stack of letters dating back to the late 1800’s. They were beautiful. The handwriting was crisp, clear, concise and very artistic. The words were poetic. Back in the day (don’t you just love that cliché), people took time to sit down and pen a letter to a friend or loved one. They were not merely words on a page hastily composed at the last moment. The words were well thought out and the grammar impeccable. They did not have the luxury of white out, erasers or even a “delete” or “backspace” key, so they had to really think about what they were writing. They often told of their day-to-day life - deaths, births, illnesses, marriage - much like we do now. However, when the intended receiver of the letter actually had an opportunity to read its contents, sometimes months would have gone by; unlike today, where it only takes seconds for one message to be sent and received by another.

Today, we speak in a language totally foreign to our ancestors: tweet me, message me, text me, e-mail me and catch me on my cell. Gone are the days of anxiously awaiting a visit by the postman for a special letter traveling from overseas or from the house 3 doors down. Our time is spent sitting in front of our computer awaiting that little voice that says: “you’ve got mail”.

I'm just sayin',



Anonymous said...

Amen to that! It is so true. And the result is there are no more great letter writers. Think of Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Ronald Reagan... gone. Who will replace them? That kid twittering about his math class?

Connie Turner said...

That’s how I know I should have been born at another time…I love pretty stationery and such and like to send cards. It’s a shame there are so many “lost arts”...maybe some of us should find them again.

Steve said...

Brings back good memories of what seems like, another place and time. In the summer months mom would have us walk to the mail box each day to get mail, and sometimes we'd have mail, and sometimes not. To receive a letter from a friend, sweetheart, war buddy, a mom or dad, and so on, meant so much in the day. Sometimes I wonder, are we really better off today? Have we lost the closeness of family, and friends, because we can talk with eachother, and go along time, and never see eachother face to face. God bless you