Writing Letters In Today’s Fast-Paced World

By: Brian Jenkins

For most of us, wading through our inboxes crammed full of messages is a daily routine. Personal and business messages often filter through the same email account, and annoying junk mail joins in to scramble things even further. Many people have abandoned the written letter for the speed and convenience of email messaging. But you can set yourself apart from the crowd by writing letters in today’s fast-paced world.

Do people appreciate getting letters nowadays when email messages can be accessed from almost anywhere via laptops and cell phones? The answer may surprise you. People do still enjoy receiving and reading handwritten letters. Many people in fact are very impressed and touched when someone takes the time to write them an actual letter instead of sending the quick snippets that comprise most email messages.

Email messaging has led to less personal contact and connecting even among family members. One reason is the culture of the internet where everyone is in a hurry. Because of this hurried technological environment, we tend to condense the messages we send to others to save ourselves precious seconds in composing those messages and save them time in reading them. Worsening this form of communication is the habit that many people have adopted of sending others chain letter messages or large files containing photos with little if any real message for receivers to connect with those involved.

Handwriting a letter forces you to slow down and truly focus on what you want to convey to the reader. Interestingly enough, a handwritten letter can connect you with the person you wrote it to in a more meaningful and powerful way that an email message often can. I would have to say that one main reason why this happens is that a written letter allows you to express yourself on a more personal level than email messages generally allow space and thought for, and people relate more easily when it is on a personal level.

Writing letters in business has its advantages as well. Make a good impression with business associates, and you will be sending an unexpected and strong message to them. Yes, we are very much a technology-driven world, but the essence of the written letter that has stood the test of time, has not been lost on everyone. Business leaders often find the written letter gives them a better insight into the type of businessperson the letter writer is. Email messages most often do not give a full and accurate picture of how you perform in business, and so relying on them solely for professional communications can be a big mistake.

There are surely times when it is better to send a quick, short email message instead of a longer written letter that needs travel time to arrive in a recipient’s mailbox, and some people simply prefer emails to letters. However, even when emails are necessary that does not mean that you cannot and should not also send written letters to them at times. There are rules to writing business letters that you should educate yourself about so that your business letters make a professional presentation to your readers. Plenty of resources exist online and in your local library to help you with learning how to write effective business letters.

Reach out and touch family and friends whether they live close by or some distance from you. College students and military service personnel especially appreciate getting letters from home. Writing a letter to them lets them know how much you care and helps them to "connect" with home even from far away.

Teach your children the art of letter writing and help them to achieve more. Children who write letters develop writing and language skills, improve comprehension, and get better grades in school. These skills will help them to achieve more in their careers and personal lives as adults. One of our responsibilities as parents is to equip our children with skills that will help them in attaining their life’s dreams. Help your child stand out and achieve their highest potential by instilling in them now the importance of writing letters.

You can really set yourself apart by writing letters because if there are not those of us willing to do so, the handwritten letter may become extinct and we will lose something that we can never regain if we let that happen. Humans have an innate need to feel connected with the people in their lives and aside from face to face interacting with one another, the written letter is the next best way to ensure that happens. Proper communication can convey and accomplish many, many things. Through the ages, the written letter has proven to be a very effective communication tool and thus far standard electronic communications have not been able to match its effectiveness.

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About Author:
Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer who writes about the business world, writing rules and etiquette, often focusing on specific products used in writing such as personalized stationery.

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