Drop the Phone and Pick up a Pen: 10 Reasons to Write a Letter
Drop the Phone and Pick Up a Pen
10 Reasons to Send a Postcard
The Emotional, Intellectual, and Social benefits of handwritten correspondence.
1) Postcards are Personal.
Sending a card is the antithesis of the blanket-covered-communication provided by social media, where all too often you see, you scroll, and you could be anyone.
When you receive a handwritten card, you can be safely assured that you have been singled out as someone special. It feels good.
2) Handwriting Stimulates Brain Function.
As more schools lose interest in teaching handwriting skills, more psychologists and researchers argue that dropping cursive in favor of typing can result in the loss of valuable brain connections which support learning ability, self-control, memory function and the intellectual capacity to transform the information we receive.
Writing keeps the connection.
3) They Challenge Your Narcissism.
You can’t gauge your digital popularity by way of a postcard. There are no ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ to be found when you send a card. Dare yourself to stop spreading your wit digitally thin and to bestow instead, that masterful one-liner, on one single lucky recipient. Make their day (- you’ll feel pretty good).
4) The Carousel of Patience.
There is a process involved in handwritten correspondence. It is stylish and satisfying. No hasty spur-of-the-moment outbursts. Sending a card requires selection, composition, stamp, mail and… a period of waiting… for it to arrive, and then perhaps to stir a response. Waiting is something we often surpass in modern lives which, despite an ever-present ability to ‘fast track’ and ‘fast forward’ often leaves us feeling more frantic, hectic, and disheveled than ever.
5) Mindfulness with Added Allure.
To the City Frazzled, the ability to pause is often self-prescribed in a frenzied capacity. We set our meditation alarms and sit, trying not to think about all of the things we have to do next, willing our minds to empty, for twenty minutes, or until we give up…
There is a magical mindful lapse for many in the leisurely pursuit of note and postcard composition. You sit back and think about what you could possibly write to a person you text on an incessant basis, and your mind empties in a way it never could when you were forcing it to.
And you weren’t even trying.
6) Look and Feel Better
The onslaught of Repetitive Scrolling Headaches, Eye-Strain, Sleep Interference and ‘Tech Neck’ (the early onset 'jowls' of avid cell phone use - a popular plight of otherwise line-free millennials) is telling us something: we use our phones too much. Rediscovering alternative methods of communication lessens the phone load on our life and our looks.
As the future leans heavily on digital progress, modern originality can often use a trip back to forgotten styles of the past.
Cards stand out for many reasons, one is simply because so many people don’t send them. They also tend to keep them.
8) Sleep Better
Evidence stacks upon evidence suggesting that night-scrolling is bad news. The blue light emitted from phone screens can screw with our circadian rhythm suppressing melatonin production and affecting our ability to fall asleep, our sleep quality, and sleep duration.
Studies have shown, meanwhile, that writing before bed for just five minutes can help you drop off around 9 minutes faster than average.
9) Good Manners.
A personal handwritten Note Card or Postcard will always outshine a text or email by way of a thank you.
10) A Retreat from the Insta-Sludge of Comparison.
With one-to-one handwritten communication there is no competitive like-hunting, and no faux-follows to be found (and lost). You get to step away from the sludge and refine and redefine your friend focus to people who really mean something to you, and you get to show them how much they mean to you too.
Receiving an uplifting card in the mail, and knowing you’re revered enough to get one, can brighten the whole day ahead. The same goes for sending.
This article first appeared at Arianna Huffington's Thrive Global