My senior year of high school, I took AP English with a teacher that fits the description of “The Dragon Lady” from the movie The Devil Wears Prada. On one of her many rants, I remember her lamenting the idea that the current generation has no value for letter writing, that the art of the letter is lost.
This always bothered me. Being part of the technological generation, we read and write at a speed that is unprecedented. Information gets passed instantaneously from point A to point B. If you actually research the amount of times we as a society type out a message you would find that according to CNN, Americans send on average a total of 88 texts a day. That’s a lot of writing if you think about it. Sure, it’s not always grammatically correct and it may be abbreviated. But, the reason people needed to pack so much formality and content into letters in the past is because they did not have instant messaging. It took days if not weeks to send and receive a letter. And, honestly, that wait period is just not relevant to today’s culture anymore. The message needs to be sent and received yesterday.
We send 86 text messages a day because we want to stay connected. And isn’t that what letter writing is about–maintaining relationships through word?