The Daily Tar Heel
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The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Write more letters, less emails

DTH Photo Illustration. A student hand writes a letter.

If you consider yourself a prospective applicant for a job; if you have the desire to bring your relationship game to the next level; if you just want to be more personable in general — then you've come to the right place. 

I have an easy and simple solution to make you stand out from all the others: write a letter. 

Many would argue the technological revolution has forever changed the ways we communicate with one another. It almost seems like texts, direct messages and emails are the only relevant ways to talk to anyone nowadays. I would have to disagree. 

When given the option to reach in your pocket, and with the press of a few buttons a message is instantaneously communicated, the classic ink on a blank canvas loses popularity. 

This is natural. In fact, I would say this is preferable for our current times. To have to whip out your stationery and ballpoint pen every time you want to communicate a message wouldn't be a reasonable way to operate in the 21st century. 

Thus, writing letters has slowly started to vanish in lieu of modern, convenient options. 

But what if, instead of having these older practices lose their presence completely, their rare usage made them special? 

There was once a time when communicating the necessary details of one's plans, thoughts and ideas all had to be written and mailed to its intended recipient. This is no longer a necessity. Through email, text, calls and many other technological innovations, we can save the act of writing for something special to display intentionality. 

And no, I'm not saying go to Hallmark and purchase your card of choice with music and pop-up pictures. 

It has become a redundant habit for us to send out cards for the 'special' moments — birthdays, wedding invitations, holiday cards, etc. 

But there is a difference between a card and a letter. 

Letters aren't special because of the occasion; they are special because of the intention behind them. They are not words of the greeting card company, but an emotion one person carves into a blank canvas so another may forever hold onto their permanent expression. 

Letters are endearing. One has to take time out of their life to stop, think and write. A text message, on the other hand, can be crafted as one goes through their day. One's attention is most likely split as they multitask messaging you and participating in a meeting, watching television, and even, yes, sitting on the John. 

Letters are one of the least practical ways to communicate in the modern age, yet one of the most simple. It doesn't take a grand expense to deliver this envelope of emotion. 

It takes time. It takes deliberate thought. And in the most cherished letters, it takes vulnerability. To some, this is a grand expense because it compromises the convenient lives they have adopted. But sometimes making someone feel special is worth the time and effort it may cost.

So, write a letter. 

Write a letter thanking the evaluators of your next job interview for the opportunity. 

Write a letter to your loved ones reminding them how much you care for them. 

Write a letter to your friend who is having a difficult day.

Write a letter to the one you love, telling them all the reasons you think they are special. 

Yes, you could text or email these thoughts and feelings. But do you know how many texts and emails I receive every day? 

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Write a letter.