Well, I suppose the best way to begin here is to acknowledge the irony of this post. I am writing about the value of the written word – the truly written word, on actual paper, written with an actual pen, with ink, by a human hand. But I am writing about this subject by typing on my laptop, into a cool little box. In the words of a master of the written word, “So it goes,” (K. Vonnegut).
So why is letter writing important? Why should you care? What could possibly compel you to take part in something as archaic as setting pen to paper and not having an automatic spell check?
1. Receiving mail makes you feel awesome.
I know this firsthand. My grandma and I are ‘penpals’ while I am away at college, and all my friends are openly jealous that I get letters from her every week. Nobody thinks its cooler than I do – it’s really nice to read someone’s thought out written account of what’s been going on in their life, answering their questions about what’s been happening in yours, etc. Occasional newspaper clippings and pictures spice it up, and nothing makes an envelope cooler than having stickers. So stock up on some stationary and find a family member or friend to correspond with!
2. Letters are more thought out and have more meaning than txt msgs or emails.
When people write letters, there’s generally a little bit of thought into what they are going to say, unlike text messages, in which people spout out whatever it is they want to share. Same goes for letters vs. emails. Writing to letters to someone back home or a friend at a different school will help you stay truly in touch with each other. Letters are generally more heartfelt than an email or a text message, and are typically more meaningful.
3. If you’re famous one day, you don’t want people to read your emails.
Historians have always been and always will be overjoyed when a former monarch’s letters to their secret lover are unearthed a century after they fell from power, or when a famous artist or writer’s lost works and correspondences are brought to light. So much has been learned or inferred about history from letters between people. Do you want people in the future to draw conclusions about you based on emails that say “hey wuts ^?” No. Of course not. Great people have always written letters. YOU are GREAT. So go write some letters!
Maybe I’ve convinced you, maybe not, but I’m still the one getting letters from Grandma every week, so for now, at least, I think my side is #winning.
Emma Brace is a sophomore at Kansas State, where she majors in engineering. She enjoys studying with friends in her room, studying with partners at coffee-shops, and studying with groups in reserved study rooms. She also writes a blog, Adventures in Wildcatland, where she rambles about movies, events, and college life in general.