In defense of handwritten letters


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Gillian Stawiszynski

Picture this. You’re in Willy T, studying your night away, and all you can think about is the exam you have at the end of the week. You lose focus, suddenly remembering the time your best friend bought you a coffee while you were cramming for an AP exam in high school. 

You smile to yourself. Your best friend is such a joy and you miss them so much. They’re a few hours away and you haven’t been able to goof off in your hometown with them for months. You grab your phone swiftly, as is a routine when you are studying, and begin to compose a message to them. 

That’s sweet, right? Texting someone randomly so they know that you are thinking about them?

Well, yes, but there is something even nicer: handwritten letters. 

A handwritten letter in your mailbox, a welcome respite from the usual utility bills and coupons to local restaurants, is the loveliest thing that can exist in the confines of that small, metal box. Whether it’s a birthday letter from your grandmother on your 20th birthday or a surprise letter from a friend, handwritten letters often elicit copious amounts of serotonin. 

I’m not trying to say that  phones are evil or “thinking of you” texts aren’t welcome. I am certain that I was safer as a teenager being able to call 911 or my parents whenever I was in trouble compared to phone-less teenagers hanging out and exploring the confines of my city in the 80s. 

But, the thought and love that goes into the words that flow from your pen onto that thin stationary is incomparable. Imagine what Shakespeare would be like if Hamlet just sent a text to Ophelia. “You up?” It would be much less sincere and a more annoying story, if anything. 

So next time you’re missing someone, you can send them a text, but consider sending them a cute little letter instead. The words might just warm up their heart.