Sending snail mail is a dying art. With the ease of communicating to anyone, anywhere through ipads, computers and phones the idea of having to wait several days to connect with someone is, understandably, antiquated. But it’s this old fashioned, delayed-gratification form of communication that we need to revitalize.
You can call it hippy, hipster, crunchy, trendy, old or whatever you want, but I guarantee you will experience a jolt of indescribable surprise if you receive a piece of mail that is not related to owing money, voting for a politician or that crumpled pennysaver filled with ads for garden gnomes and lost pets.
9. Forces you to think about someone else
A text can take 4 seconds to think about, compose and send and 1.5 seconds to forget about. It’s about as impersonal as you can get as far as communication. The act of writing a card is a slow and deliberate process. You don’t want to waste the card, so you think hard about what you want to say. You choose words wisely and carefully because there isn’t an infinite amount of space. You think about the person receiving the card and how they’ll feel when they read it. You hone in on what they want to hear. It’s beautifully selfless.
8. Gives you space to connect with yourself
Just as you think about the person receiving the card, you can think about yourself too. You could just send a quick “Happy Birthday” text or you could fill in the blank space of a card with what that person means to you, how important they are in your world and how they’ve influenced your life. Taking the time to put pen to paper, to really think about what you want to say because you can’t just erase it with a few clicks, causes you to dig deeper and write with more meaning.
7. Send love, cultivate gratitude
You’re sending a gift. It’s small and it might just be thrown away in a week, but you’re sending the gift of time, love and attention.
6. It's healthy to unplug
I’m guilty of it too: phone to my nose, tv on in the background, computer in bed. We live in a plugged in world which has many important benefits. However, too much of one thing narrows our mind, talents and interests. Turning off the t.v. to read or putting down the phone to send a card switches up the routine and reminds you that you do indeed know how to write, you can entertain yourself and your second grade teacher was right: you do have nice penmanship!
5. We could all practice more patience
I admit, I am someone who gets impatient when the person I text doesn’t respond right away. But why? I’ve pushed in on their time not knowing what they are doing or if they’re available. Cards eliminate that impatient impulse that is now ingrained in our at-your-fingertips world by forcing us to know, from the beginning, the person we’re communicating with will not be getting our message for a few days...so let's chill out...
4. Focus on what you actually want to say
Snail mail allows you the space to be more open because you won’t be anywhere near the receiver when they read the card. Oddly, the inherent distance that accompanies sending a card can be the catalyst for becoming closer to the person you’re talking to. You have the security blanket of miles and days to open up and be raw, real and honest with your communication.
3. Use your words
I know I might be in the minority - or at least sound incredibly old fashioned - but the written word is a powerful form of communication and shouldn’t be squandered away behind LOLs, BRBs or LMNOPs. Imagine getting a love letter that started with a kissing smiley face and ended in LOL. Definitely wouldn’t have the same effect as deliberate, passionately chosen words. #makethemswoonuseyourwords
2. Harder to ignore
Yes a card can be thrown away, but if you took the time to write out a card, lick that gross envelope and stick a precious Harry Potter stamp in the corner I doubt the receiver will ignore it like the half-hearted text you could have sent!
1. You'll be the favorite
Sending a card provides you the opportunity to have a more personal connection with the person you’re writing to. If you want to be heard by the person you’re talking to you have to put in the same amount of time you expect in return so next time send a card, not a text and feel the difference!