I haven’t seen my own handwriting in five years.
Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but really, how often do I hand write things nowadays? I type much, MUCH faster than I write. My work is on the computer. I chat with my friends online. In fact, even my grocery list is on my smartphone and I have an app to jot notes to myself. The only thing I write by hand is my signature. I rarely write checks anymore, though, and even my signature doesn’t look like my normal handwriting because I use cursive for my signature and print everything else. Now that I think about it, do I even know what my “normal” handwriting looks like? I can clearly picture my mother’s handwriting, my father’s, and my grandmother’s. But sitting here now, can I picture my mister’s? Will my kids be able to recognize mine when I send them off to school with love notes tucked inside their packed lunches?
Nowadays, not only do we not hand write things, but we don’t even bother to personalize messages. How many times have you received (or sent!) Christmas cards that had pictures of the fam, but no personal message at all? Everyone gets the same picture. Sometimes there is a letter included, but it’s a computer-typed letter with the yearly update, nothing personal to you. It’s a form letter. Form letters from or to our friends and family? Shame. Many times, the envelopes aren’t even written longhand — even the addresses are printed from the computer on to labels.
This wasn’t always the case. I remember being taught cursive writing and the correct format for personal letters in elementary school. I remember having penpals as a kid and loving it. I would rush to pick up the mail and read letters from exotic (to me) places like Thailand and Canada. Back then, we sent birthday party invitations in cards through the mail, not e-vites. I’m afraid my kids are going to grow up not knowing that there was a time when “snail mail” existed. They currently love this toy but have little understanding of what it is:
Everyone likes to get mail and everyone wants to make a connection, right? Maybe it’s time that we stopped informing and went back to interacting and engaging.