Classic Signals: Students find value in writing letters

Doesn’t it feel more sincere when you receive a hand-written card from a friend or family member versus getting a simple text for a special occasion? As technology advances, it will become more difficult to pull ourselves out of the vortex of technology obsession. Just because something is easier, doesn’t mean it’s better to do it all the time. 

Receiving handwritten notes is more sentimental than emails or texts (courtesy of TCNJ Digital Archives). 

In an October 2003 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote about how snail mail is worth waiting for and is a more heartfelt, personal way to show someone you care about them.

How would you like it if all you received on your birthday were email and IM celebration wishes? What about if on your anniversary, your significant other said, “Here’s some flowers, I e-mailed you the card”? The point is that even in today’s technologically abundant society, virtual greetings — whether they are through e-mail, IM or even online cards— leave something to be desired. 

I’ll readily admit that I am an AIM junkie, and that I check my e-mail nonstop. In no way am I saying that it doesn’t make me happy to interact virtually with my family or friends. So what’s the difference between e-mail and snail mail? 

The monetary aspect is not really an issue (I don’t think anyone really cares if you spent $2.99 on a Hallmark card and 33 cents on a stamp.) However, I would much rather get something tangible — a card, a letter-something I can put in a room or hang up in my dorm. 

I’m not saying you can’t print out and hang up your virtual messages, but I think it would look a little more than odd if you had e-mails adorning your walls. 

Not only is snail mail more tangible but it is also more personal. True, AIM and e-mail may allow you to talk to individuals whom you may never have the guts to speak to in person, but there is no way to guarantee that these conversations are genuine. It’s not that the feelings won’t be there, but that you may never know for sure. 

Technology makes it virtually impossible to read the sender’s emotions and this can be a bit sketchy (pun intended). 

How many times in an AIM conversation do you say “lol” in response to something that isn’t even funny? Technology has made us automatons in that some emotionally related reactions come as automatic response to anything and everything. 

If, however, one of those individuals whom you never had the guts to talk to other than on AIM writes you a letter, then you would get the impression that whatever he or she had to say was sincere. It would be in his or her own handwriting.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*