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 Letter writing has become outdated and a rarity when it does occur.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.