Bekah Pounds, a senior majoring in psychology, said she has been writing letters since about week two of quarantine. She said she prefers letters to digital communication, and thinks they are a better expression of feelings and personality.
“Especially now, when we are consumed in digital things in a situation where we have to be, I think letters provide something that's different in a communal aspect,” Pounds said. “You genuinely know someone cares about you enough to take the time out of their day to write a letter.”
Pounds said she has sent roughly seven letters — most of them to UNC friends during her final weeks as a UNC student.
“I knew so many friends that I was not going to be able to see in my final weeks of senior year and just wanted to encourage people in any way I could,” Pounds said.
Pounds said that, while they may not be the most efficient way to communicate, letters show genuine care because they take time to write.
“It's so easy to punch in a number and call or Facetime someone or click a Zoom link, but with a letter, someone is taking at least 10 to 15 minutes out of their day to personally write you and think about you,” Pounds said.
Adam Enggasser, a junior majoring in environmental health sciences in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, said he appreciates writing letters because, in some ways, it takes less time — there's not the expectation of an immediate response.
“With letters, you can write one to someone once every couple weeks and you still feel like you are in touch, even though it's not as great of a time commitment,” Enggasser said.
Avery said letters are a way to show love to others outside of technology while social distancing.
“Everything is revolving around digital technology right now and I am so thankful that we have those resources, but to me handwritten words mean so much more during this time,” Avery said. “It's a more tangible way to say, ‘I took the time out of my day to send this to you,’ rather than just a text message or something like that.”