Technogenesis in Communication

With the advancements in technology, we are now able to send and receive messages instantaneously to individuals, groups of people, or the world. This is thus decreased the need and desire to take time out of our day to sit down and write letters to our loved ones. This is one version of technogenesis in our lives. Letter writing has become outdated and a rarity when it does occur. This TED talk video, linked below, discusses a worldwide initiative to write random love letters to strangers to brighten a person’s day when stumbled upon the letter. When I was watching this video, I realized that handwritten letters mean much more to me than any amount of text messages or instant communication. Two of my high school friends who now go to colleges hundreds of miles away in opposite directions prefer letter writing to any other form of communication. When I first got to school I would try and text or call them weekly, but neither of them would ever respond. I learned that the only way to hear from them was to write them letters, and while I was confused and frustrated with them for this at first, as I began to receive weekly letters from them, I realized how blessed I was to have friends like them. Finding a short postcard in my mailbox would be the highlight of my day, and a long letter depicting all of their crazy college adventures would make me grin from ear to ear. I kept all of these letters in my desk, and on a bad day I would pull one out, reread it, and it would instantly change my mood. From this friendship, I can personally attest that letter writing made me feel that I was loved, and that my friends really cherish our friendship, even more so than some of my other friends who would text or call me daily to see how my adjustment to college was going. While I use instant forms of communication numerous times each day, I enjoy the “old- fashioned” written letters even more when I receive one. I feel that most humans would feel the same way, too. Maybe it’s the emotions that are expressed in the handwriting, or just because we realize that the writer took a specific amount of time out of their busy life to write a person note to us, but on some level I believe letter writing brings us closer together in our relationships because we aren’t hiding behind machines.

Our lifestyles today are becoming so dependent on technology that something small, like getting a handwritten letter via snail mail (instead of only “junk” mail or bills) has an escalating effect on many humans. While texting a friend is easy and gets the job done, the cell phones are covering up the personal element, and makes each message sent or received from a person the same, in font, size, etc. While I will continue to send texts, I also will attempt to sit down every once in a while and send letters to those who are very important to me in my life, so that they realize how much they mean to me and hopefully brighten their day.



  1. I agree that the effort put into a handwritten letter makes it much more meaningful than a phone call ever would. When I was younger, I would write letters to my grandparents a few times a year. I always heard from my parents how happy it made them. I no longer do that though because they have a very tough time reading anymore in their advanced age. So I just call them every now and then and catch up. Their health has deteriorated such that they couldn’t even make the trip from Florida to Ohio for my sister’s wedding. My grandfather still sends me cards every now and then though, with comments as simple as “Just thinking of you, good luck this semester.” And that card means far more to me than the cash he folds up inside.

  2. I totally agree that handwritten letters have a certain effect on us. A handwritten letter takes more time and usually requires more thought. It is a lot easier to erase lines from an e-mail or text; However, with handwritten letters, it needs to be more carefully thought out or you have to restart. I often get letters from my grandma who lives far away and I agree that it makes you smile! It’s nice to forget modern technology and know someone took the time to mail you a letter!

  3. I definitely think that hand written letters are much more personal and caring. Text messages can be so short and impersonal, whereas if you are writing a letter, you have to put a lot of thought into it. Plus, having a hard copy of a nice handwritten letter can be very nostalgic, whereas old text messages don’t have the same effect.

  4. I writing a sincerely letter to the one that is precious in your life is important. Back in the old days, writing letters seems to be ordinary , but now a days we have phones and computers as an alternative sources of letter. Until today, we feel like sending messages on phones are normal. So, if someone sends you a message in the form of letter, I would think he or she is different and sincerely. This would be a chance to further strengthen our friendship.

  5. Handwritten letters are definitely very special nowadays. Although it is a hassle and costs more money than sending a text it is the sentimental value that counts. It really makes you put your thoughts in order or relevance and exclude the petty things in life that are worth texting over but not worth using valuable paper space.

  6. I think it’s nice that you and your friends write letters. With some schools not even teaching cursive writing anymore handwriting could end up as a lost form of art. I wonder if there are any schools that encourage students to have a pen pal and actually write out letters. I think there is something special about handwritten letters and notes.

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