There are so many forms of communication in the modern world – type into Google ‘The lost art of letter writing’, and a myriad of articles mourning the decline of pen and paper is almost overwhelming. The Guardian speaks of handwriting ‘drifting from our lives’, yet, ironically, we are more connected as a global population than ever before.
The digital revolution has radically changed how we communicate and the way we use technology to facilitate the speed and volume of our interactions which has now become the norm. Clinging to these rocket-fast forms of messaging also leads to a new form of language usage; the acronyms, the #ShorteningOfAnythingToMakeItHashtaggable and the rise of irritating (but catchy) abbreviations such as ‘obvs’, ‘totes’ and ‘amaze’. With all of this short form messaging, what has happened to the considered prose that was once thoughtfully applied to writing notes and letters? Like any skill, the less we use it, the more we lose it. It seems that technology has simplified our lives in many ways, but in its wake has left us vulnerable to losing touch with simple and thoughtful personal notes.
Without the art of writing, where does our mother tongue of traditional language rest? The beauty of writing is not in its spontaneity; a letter forces you to speak slowly, it takes effort and a great deal of thought which makes each word all the more personal. When you receive a letter, you treasure it. It can be reread and kept for years; a personal reminder of a blossoming relationship or thank you note from a friend or loved one.
So, although time is of the essence, a picture is only worth a thousand words if one knows how to write them. Pick up a pen for National Stationery Week from 27th April to 3rd May, and rediscover this lost art that is waiting so desperately (and patiently) to be found.