We have moved to an edge where information is at our fingertips and the mediums to send it across are multiple! Be it any app, the internet has made it possible to share information with so much ease. However, I was wondering about a time when e-commerce was not there and one had to sit down and actually write a letter!
Letter writing is of course a very old practice and it has existed many centuries ago. But during the 17th & 18th centuries letter writing was used predominantly. In fact, during the 18th Century, called the “Great Age of Letter Writing,” the epistolary novel became a hugely popular genre and came from the format of letters. From sharing information both in public & private space to trying to write better letters that developed their own unique style became more prevalent. However during a later period in about twentieth century, letters came into the sphere of academics & research where letters were studies to find out many truths regarding the lifestyle of settlers, refugees & people in general. There came to be known as formal & informal letters also.
It amuses me to wonder that in those times, when life was slow and people actually took time to write down letters. If it was a formal letter, then so much research would be undertaken and if it was a personal letter then one would pour out all the emotions through writing. The words would form the link. The handwriting would also serve as a subtle form of communication bearing a personal signature. In a war like situation, even coded letters in varied formats were prevalent & I just feel, how intelligent was human race to devise such unique style to communicate with each other! And how can we not talk about Love letters, when we are talking about letters. The anticipation to write it, share the feelings, write one’s hearts out and secretly send it to one’s beloved who again would be waiting with a lot of expectation. Imagine the stress, the anxiety & yet not being able to say it. And these messages always felt special because there was so much effort that went into it.
Today, I feel like we write more letters than any age. Any message that we type, be it on our blogs or a whats-app message or anything else, are only modified versions of letters only! But with so much of close encounters, what is missing with each passing day is the emotion, the human touch that each letter used to carry. It is all mechanical today, when it is easy to use just an emoji & say what you feel. sometimes it saves time & ruins the vibe. And sometimes, it is this ease that keeps many bonds going. People are connected superficially. And in the formal space, the numerous e-mails shared each day have developed their own style and with each passing day are being written informally with abbreviations becoming shorter.
Well, neither can we not go back in time nor can we have the luxury of having time. I absolutely have no complaints about the super beneficial way by which we all are interconnected. It is the need of the hour. But, honestly, I sometimes crave getting a hand-written letter bringing in positive news ( of course). I also at times, wonder how would I react if I get one! A simple sight at a post box on the way, makes me think that maybe, one day it will happen.
What about you ? Do you also feel the same way ? Let me know!
6 Comments Add yours
I actually do write lots of pen-pal letters to friends in the US (I’m from Malaysia), and it’s a very therapeutic thing to do, especially to get away from screens. It’s every bit as fun to see it in the mail as you might think. I suggest you try it too. GlobalPenFriends has a nice platform for it. Hope you have fun with it!
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That is so nice to know , Stuart. I am sure the feeling must be amazing. And thanks for the suggestion. May be I will try doing the same too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 😊.
We may compel ourselves to write one. No harm. But it should be received in the same way. People do not pay attention to letters now. I stopped writing letters when my friend told me that he never paid attention to my Diwali greeting card (that too I customized it 100%) and it was lying in garbage. There are too many messages/emails now a days. So messages hardly have any meaning. As one my customers pointed out, people should be charged for each emails they write. It might be a joke, but it has a meaning.
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I agree with you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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It depends. I think a heartfelt email would do the trick. It doesn’t have to be on paper but i would definitely like a long email from some. I think i tend to miss a lot out on chats but letters/emails give us an opportunity to think before we write and thus a lot that may have been missed remains etched on the particular communication. So an email once a month would be great and if i feel like saving it i can print it any day.
The last time I wrote a letter was when I was in hostel, 7th grade. Wrote one to my parents back home, they laminated it and kept it 😅
Good old days!