Are we the last generation of real letter writers?

Each Saturday here on this blog,  I feature letters other bloggers and non bloggers have contributed. The variety of letters has been astounding. I have read each one and thoroughly enjoyed them.

A year ago if I received a letter which was typed I would not have considered it a real letter. I would have wondered why it was typed?  And I would have lamented the death of the old fashioned pen written letter. I was so against the world of email and online personal communication.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/2787098393/">Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

How quickly I have moved on. Up to 12 months ago I wrote regularly, on a real page, with an actual pen. Most days I ached to find a page and write something.  Now I type here on my laptop, and it has completely overtaken my need to “write” on pen and paper. In fact for a long time now I have not even thought of writing anything on paper. My journals, much loved and treasured, are gathering cobwebs. Over twenty five years of memories, ignored for months. No update written in them for almost one year.

Tomorrow I will be posting two letters which were sent to me, and both are handwritten. As I looked at them and read them, I remembered the magic of a real letter. The letters on a page, the type of pen used, the colour of the ink, and the distinct writing which is unique to the writer.

As I looked at them I remembered the magic of a “real” letter, and I greatly mourn it’s passing. I realise that I myself am contributing to it’s passing, and I have thought at length about that since I first received these letters.
What I have decided to do  is but a drop in the ocean, but for a while anyway I will go back to writing “my thoughts on a page” on a real page, as well as on blog.  I will make an effort to once again write in my real journal, because I think it would be a much more valuable legacy to leave my family than my blog.

I have no doubt that we are the last generation of “real” letter writers. I wonder if future generations will ever regret our passing, and realise what they have lost?

photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL) via photopin cc

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28 thoughts on “Are we the last generation of real letter writers?

  1. I like to think that what was old will be new again. People will fall in love again with receiving letters in the mail. I have younger friends who still write to one another by letter and send actual printed pictures on paper through the mail. 🙂 This is my hope anyway. Who doesn’t like that surprise in the mail box????

  2. I cannot remember the last time I wrote or received a handwritten letter. But I am envious of people who have great handwriting, mostly because my own handwriting is so bad, or at least really small, my teachers used to complain about needing a microscope to read my essays. My mother compared it to ‘like a spider with ink dipped on all its legs had run across the page.’

    I try to write bigger these days, too late for my teachers though, they are probably spending their retirement money on laser eye surgery these days.

    1. I haven’t received a hand written letter in years either. I have awful writing but I never cared because I was the one writing and didn’t have to read it.
      The other day, (as part of my promise to write in my journals) I saw just how much my writing has disimproved as I haven’t had to physically write much in ages. Ah well, not my problem!

  3. I used to write tons of letters… I wrote one that was over 50 pages long… all by hand. I love writing letters but have no time now. People know we do not celebrate Christmas but the cards come anyway so I try to write a short note. I haven’t written one yet this year in response to those cards. 😦 I wish I had more time.

  4. I believe the present and future generations are missing out. There is so,etching so special and permanent and tactile about a real letter. It’s like holding onto the person who wrote it in the first place

  5. I do also appreciate to receive a real handwritten letter. Sometimes I am so lucky, because I have a daughter, who is brilliant to write in the hand too.
    I save all those letters as other save gold, they are my treassure.
    Irene

  6. this is a great post tric, and i still love to write with ink on paper. my aussie daughter and i have written letters to each other for years, and continue to do so. i have a few other friends that i still write to as well. i love handwritten letters.

    1. I’d love to have someone to write to, but I’d best not wish that too loud as my children are growing up and I assume before I know it they will be living abroad. But if they do I will be writing to them, although I wonder if they will write back.

  7. When I left for Tahiti as a newly-wed, I wrote to my parents at least once a week for over a year and a half. Little did I know that they kept them all and gave them to me. It’s a real pleasure to feel the paper in my hands and read all the life scribbled on there…
    My children still write thank you letters (although getting them to the post office is another kettle of fish).

    1. I lived in Australia and I kept all the letters that were sent to me. I also have letters my husband sent me when he lived in the US for a few months shortly after we met.
      Occasionally I sit and relive those happy days.
      I don’t think my kids would even know how to go about writing a real letter.

  8. I love “real” letters, too. I love going to museums and historical societies and seeing the actual writing of those long ago people. But I can’t really mourn the passing of the tradition, or feel sorrow that future generations won’t have the same pleasure that I did from it. I imagine older people, back 600 years ago, bemoaning the fact that “books won’t be hand scribed any more, now that the printing press is around!” I actually remember my grandmother lamenting that ball point pens were less “refined” than calligraphy pens.
    Time moves on, the next generation will still feel connections and pleasures from their digital world!

    1. That is an interesting take on the whole argument for or against hand written letters and I suppose you are right, but as I re read my old letters I regret not having more.

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