This I Believe

Carson - Provo, Utah
Entered on December 19, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism

I believe in handwritten letters. In this time of high speed technology, we have internet, cell phones, texting, emails, and a hundred other ways to communicate but the dying art of handwritten letters is still my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I still use the internet; I text and email everyday, but nothing compares to the personal nature of a handwritten letter.

I currently have lots of friends out of the country with whom I communicate only by handwritten letters. It’s true the communication takes a lot longer, but is much more meaningful at the same time. Typing is impersonal; all of us can choose the same Arial or Times New Roman font to express the same boring, everyday experiences. But letters have personality, I can see my best friend’s unique handwriting with his circles over the ‘i’s; I focus as much on the handwriting as I do on the words. I can imagine him sitting in some far away place taking the time to write me a letter, thinking about me, wondering how I am doing, putting feelings on a page one would not necessarily put on a screen but that makes all the difference.

When I write a letter I like to make it special and unique. Sometimes I can’t afford a real present, so I take the time to make a card by hand for birthdays and such. I like to give it that personal touch so that my friend can really see how much they mean to me. Then I like to write a letter, not just a little “Hey, Happy Birthday” or “Thinking of you!” but something that I can send to only that individual person to really show them that I am thinking of them and I do genuinely hope that they have the happiest birthday! My dad loves newspaper cartoons and the first year I was away from home for his birthday I remembered one of his favorite cartoons and recreated my own version of it for the outside of the construction paper card. Inside I thanked him for specific things he had done for me throughout my life. Somehow… the words were truer, more real when written by hand.

I think that part of the charm that handwritten letters hold for me is that they remind me of love letters written before technology. There is something more self-sacrificing in a letter written by hand, paid for with a stamp, addressed and carried specifically to the person it is intended for. I want to be able to show the people I love but are far away emotions that are so deep, and so important that you would spend $.90 and at least two hours per week to write true emotions rather than thirty seconds to send a free, impersonal email. I hope I get a letter this week; it’s the best way to remind me that he really is thinking of me. I believe in the power of handwritten letters.