The Pen is Mightier than the Snap


I’ll readily admit my social media habits aren’t representative of my generation. But I’ve noticed a high risk, high reward communication tool I regularly use has been commented on, years after I make my post.

It’s not free, like communication should be today. It’s also quite difficult, involving at least three trips out of the house (so in my case, into the rain).

For better or worse, it also lasts indefinitely.

But finding, writing and sending a great card is an investment worth making. I mean, that time I found a card that said “You would’ve been my fourth grade BFF” and sent it my fourth grade BFF? Embarrassingly gratifying. A professor from my 2011 exchange semester in Wisconsin (don’t ask) recently LinkedIn messaged me. He thanked me for my contributions to our German class, and mentioned that he rereads the card I wrote him from time to time as inspiration. Couldn’t do that with a snapchat, could he?

A benefit of deliberate, individual communication is it’s difficulty. You’re sending a clear message to the recipient, they are important to you today.

I can list some pitfalls to the unseasoned cardwriter:
– hand cramps
– no spellcheck
– not leaving enough space to sign off
– leaving too much space for a sign off
– forgetting to put the date on it.

Due to the efficiency of the US postal service and their cousins, Australia Post, there is often a two or even three week hiatus where the card is opened and read by various customs officials (how else could it take so long?) So urgent information I’d recommend more modern forms of communication, like a telegram or call to a landline.

So for those open minded enough to embrace the new classic, here are some benefits:
– people feel really special when you write them a card
– there is no audience to your communications, full privacy assured (apart from nosy postal workers)
– doubles as a keepsake
– 100% open rate average
– you get to practice your handwriting for when the millennium bug hits.

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

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