This blog is dedicated to the art of letter writing. Too few of us actually receive “real” letters in the mail. For the most part, we don’t write them either.
Letters in the mail were once a lifeline for people. Rather than placing expensive phone calls or using hand delivered missives, the U.S. Postal Service was the primary means of staying in touch with friends and loved ones and for business transactions.
Today communication comes with many options. We can text, email, and use social media. We even can look at one another and make eye contact while communicating through Skype and other video conferencing type services, though this may not be for the camera shy.
Still, there is a hunger for receiving old-fashioned “snail” mail, despite our ever- decreasing use of it. While written communications have evolved, the art of corresponding socially with others is not lost.
The ease of using electronic communications may be largely responsible for the lack of letters in the mail. There are many benefits to using email, texts and social media, including the immediacy and ability to share links and photos. Email provides the ability to track a conversation or correspondence and to review previous letters and posts in order to avoid repetition and to be responsive and interactive with the sender. Some people are more comfortable with oral communications, in person or on the phone, than with written messages. How or when or why we choose to communicate is a matter of personal need and preference.
A letter written on paper, however, has the clear advantage of leaving a tangible record, one more likely to be revisited in the future, of family ties and the bonds of friendship. A letter tells a story, perhaps for future generations, and serves as a special treasure for those doing genealogy research. A letter, hand delivered or sent through the mail, is a gift, from the sender to the receiver.
Social Correspondence is about the art of personal letter writing. Posts will explore such topics as: handwriting; typing; the history, triumphs and struggles of the U.S. Postal System; stamps as art; the impact of electronic communications on letter writing; and more. Like all good letter writing, I hope this will become an interactive experience, and look forward to hearing from you through your posted comments, and letters sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.