The Power of Handwritten Letters

Caroline Lewis, Staff Writer

Where do you keep your stash of love letters? Under your bed? In your drawer? No offense, but I bet you don’t even have one to hide for safekeeping. Don’t worry though, it’s not you.

Most who are a part of Generation Z haven’t received mail like that either. Communicating affection has been changed by technology, and sadly it has decreased the value of words, making me question whether that person really means what they say—I mean, type.

I’m sure you’ve had a deep conversation with someone you barely know over text or social media, but then have been too afraid to even say a simple “Hey!” in the hall. It’s pretty astonishing that so many of us teenagers feel comfortable opening up through our addictive screens, yet feel so awkward to talk with others in person for a short amount of time.

When teenagers have a crush on someone, the relationship usually starts off with snapchatting, which can label two people as “talking” or “having a thing.” But how can that even be possible when you have rarely, if ever, talked in person? It makes me cringe when I see this reality. What is going on within phones isn’t nearly a reflection of these face-to-face interactions, and I think that one of the only true ways to show real emotions other than in-person, is through the form of a handwritten letter.

Earlier this year, a BHS student said in the hall, “Yeah she’s my girlfriend. It’s our two month anniversary today and we still haven’t talked in person.”  The fact that people are labeling themselves as “in a relationship” just because of conversations through cell phones is absurd. How is our generation supposed to gain the life skills from these technological interactions and eventually be mature enough to get married and have children if we are too afraid to talk in person? Yes, forming that strong relationship is scary at first, but technology has made it too easy for us to say how we really, or at least think we really, feel about someone.

Picture how it would feel to read a handwritten love letter, or even just a friendly note from a peer that is always on your mind. The difference between a quick snapchat and a handwritten note is the time and effort put into the words being written. To know that someone is taking time out of their own lives to express real feelings makes the value of their words far more powerful.

Not only that, but writing letters creates an opportunity for memories to be made. Having to sneakily put it in their locker, or somehow hand it to them, makes for good fun—something that is easily lost and forgotten due to the accessibility of technology.

Our generation needs to rekindle the trend of writing personalized notes of affection. Love letters are the reason our parents, grandparents, and family members have so many stories to tell about their glory days of high school, about their first love, or maybe even about their current spouse.

It’s classy, and far more impressive because it reflects the ability of people to have confidence in themselves. We shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone how we feel. Don’t be scared and send them a cheesy snap. Try writing things down, and I bet you would get a much better reaction than an effortless, finite photo.