Why We Should Return To Writing Letters In The Time of COVID-19

Published on May 12, 2020

Writing letters is not exactly the most efficient method of communication. With social media, text messaging, and video chatting, there are a million ways to stay connected while maintaining proper social distancing. In the age of all this amazing technology, it can be hard to justify taking the time to write and mail a letter. It’s an old-fashioned method of communicating that deserves a revival.

A Way To Keep In Touch

Look, I get it, we have a million ways to keep in touch with loved ones while we’re maintaining social distance to slow the spread of COVID-19. Video chatting seems to be the primary method that folks are turning to, and with good reason. It’s easy to do, and it’s wonderful to be able to see friends and family face-to-face, at least virtually.

I am not at all suggesting that letters should replace video chatting as a form of communication, merely supplement it. Letters allow a much more laid back form of communication, as the writer can sit and think about the words they want to say before they say them. It also allows communication completely on the writer’s own terms. Writing letters can happen whenever you have the time, whenever you feel ready or like you have something to say. Video chatting demands your full attention as soon as the phone rings, whereas letters have a slower pace much better suited to these strange and stressful times.

A Way To Help Out The US Postal Service

The United States Postal Service is struggling amidst this pandemic. The post office is an absolutely essential service, and without it, this country will face significant struggles. Without the postal service, we will not be able to vote by mail, receive jury summons (I know this sounds appealing, but jury duty is important guys), or participate in a whole host of important aspects of society that depend on the mail.

Writing letters is a simple and fulfilling way to help an important institution survive these troubling times. All it takes is buying some stamps and putting some words on a page to send to a loved one.

A Way to Keep Kids, and Yourselves, Entertained

If you have children, they’re probably bored out of their minds right about now. If you don’t, you’re probably bored out of your mind right about now. While under normal circumstances none of us have time to sit and write a nice letter in the constant get-up-and-go atmosphere we all exist in, for many of us, this no longer applies.

Writing a letter to a grandparent or an aunt or whoever is a great way for kids to practice their writing skills and make someone’s whole day. There’s nothing cuter than receiving a handwritten letter from a child you love. It’s educational, it’ll kill some time, and it’s something non-electronic to hold your child’s attention for a few minutes.

Letter writing is also a beneficial activity for those of us who aren’t children or don’t have them. Something about putting words on a page is deeply therapeutic. The act of writing alleviates stress, and it’s a great way to work through your thoughts through written words to a loved one. No matter who you write to, writing and mailing a letter will leave you feeling fulfilled and like you’ve accomplished something today.

A Revival That’s Not Entirely Necessary, but Beneficial

We don’t need to write letters, per se. We have plenty of other ways to communicate and maintain connections with people we love through technology. Just because we don’t strictly need to do it, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. It’s a simple and satisfying activity for people of any age who can hold a pen. In this time of boredom and necessary distancing from those we care about for safety, letters can help with keeping the mind busy as well as keeping loved ones connected.

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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