Wednesday / March 23 / 2011
The case for the handwritten note: become a better communicator
Anyone got a pen? …anyone?
I’m sure you remember the stylus. It wasn’t so long ago when everyone had a PDA or other gadget with said stylus. Now all you need to gain access to your friends, your network and the world is a working digit.
As archaic as the stylus now seems, I want step even further back into ancient times and explore the idea of picking up a pen. An actual pen. Not to add to your grocery list or jot a fierce note so it’s clear the brownies are for your daughter’s bake sale and not a family free-for-all. But to write a personal note. I’m not suggesting we go back to feathers, ink and calligraphy, but rather we return to the art of communication through personal, handwritten correspondence (she says as she types her blog… yeah, yeah… I get it. No snarky comments, please!)
Remember the last time you walked to your mailbox and got something besides junk or bills? I’m betting it was a birthday card, a thank you note or a thinking-about-you letter. And I’m betting your eyes lit up when you saw your name written in familiar penmanship. You felt connected. Even more, you felt cared about.
As a PR professional, a daughter, a mom, a friend… I believe there’s value in communicating via social media, emails, texts and so forth. But I’m also a big believer in putting pen to paper. Literally. What I’m suggesting here is not an “or” but rather an “and”.Just ask my son. Now 26, Grant can attest to the bevy of thank you notes, birthday cards and letters he’s penned over the years. Was it top of his To Do List? Certainly not. But would he admit (now, anyway) that it felt good to communicate on such a personal level? I dare say yes. Perhaps one day a handwritten thank you note will win him that prestigious law position, or a Hallmark card will win him his wife’s hand in marriage (hmmm…)
The take-away is, he’s a better communicator because of the time he takes putting pen to paper.
I love this pic of us at his May 2008 graduation from the University of South Carolina (…after which he had a lot of thank you notes to write!)
So on your next walk to the mailbox… indulge me. Put the red flag up.