Amazing Kids! Magazine

Snail Mail

By Kristen Fowler, age 15, Vancouver

Christmas time is coming around again and many of you are writing your only letter for the year. New technology has taken the place of the classic way of communication. Writing letters is now known as “Snail Mail” and e-mail has replaced it. People who e-mail need to write letters because it is more personal, more secure, and more fun to receive.

One reason email users need to switch from email to letter writing is because receiving letters is fun. Most people think of it as a chore to check their emails every day. However, the anticipation that comes from knowing your pen pal or family member is sending a letter back to you brings a smile to many peoples’ faces. Rachel B, a blog writer said, “I wasn’t in a hurry when I wrote handwritten letters because I enjoyed the process. The ultimate reward? Receiving letters back from friends and family – oh the thrill of those handwritten envelopes in my mailbox!” Yes it does take longer, but the tangible letter mean more to people then a common email. The physical letter shows you spent the time to write it. Emailers need to change their ways and start writing letters today so that they can enjoy the fun they are missing out on.

Next, email users should start writing letters because it is safer then email. Though you may have heard stories about losing your mail, it is rare. Mailing letters is still more secure then email. Email can easily get lost in junk mail. Have you ever sent the wrong email to someone, said the wrong things, or didn’t think about what you were saying before you sent it? Rich Menga wrote, “Any message sent across the Internet unencrypted can be intercepted and read easily because there’s nothing to decode.” People can easily read others’ emails that are suppose to be “private.” Unfortunately there is no undo button for emailing. Some people like to forward email to others. Those forwarded email contain the email addresses of everyone the email was previously sent to and now people you don’t even know can see your email. Also, a virus can really mess-up your email. So start today, and keep your communications with people secure by writing letters to them.

Finally, email users should write real letters because it is more personal than email. Now, don’t get me wrong, email is great, but when you only email and never stop and take time to write a letter you miss the opportunity to connect with someone in a different way. When you write a letter you can tell how you are doing, what is going on, or your thoughts on things. People tend to write more personal information in letters then emails. One of the well know classical writers, Jane Austen said, “I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth.” When you write letters you don’t use abbreviations, instead you write out your full thoughts. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a poet and writer said, “Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.”  Have you ever heard someone reading his or her email years later? No. Liz Carpenter once said, “What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters.  You can’t reread a phone call.” Make your letters unique and special by adding stickers or drawings. Show people you care for them by picking up a pen and write them a letter that has been personalized only by you.

People who dislike “snail mail” need to realize they should send mail instead of emails. First, writing letters are more personal than email. Second, sending letters can be more secure than emailing. Last of all, getting mail is fun. Next time you are tempted to just send your friend a quick email, sit down and take the time and write to them a letter from your heart. So go now and start your adventure in letter writing.