Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Long Live the Postal System: Why You Shouldn't Let it Die

How many letters have you received in the past year? How many letters have you received in the past year that weren't sent by your grandparents, your great aunt, or a sleazy businessman? Now how many of these letters did you respond to with the internet or a phone?

In this day and age, few people see the point in sending anything by the old snail mail. After all, why trust a snail with the one copy of your letter when you could hand it off to a roadrunner and still have an extra, just incase? Logically, e-mail is safer, and infinitely more efficient than the ways of old. Waiting six days to hear back is such a drag. Luckily, Google lets me do that in half-an-hour.




But it doesn't let me taste it!
The gag has a point. Every letter that shows up in my mailbox has a unique scent, a distinct feel, it's own little personality. Personal letters possess a piece of the person who wrote them, no matter how far they've traveled. From the spilled coffee in the corner to the twirling tail attached to their "Q"s, every part of that letter is drenched in the essence of that person.

There's no life in an e-mail. Sure, you may notice that some people have a habit of using emoticons in the place of periods, or spelling things in odd ways, or writing the best run-on sentences you've ever read, but there are absolutely none of the little touches that a physical letter has. Of the five senses you can use to "read" a letter, the internet leaves you with only one.




Liar! I can feel this keyboard! I can lick it, too!
I regretfully inform you that if you have a teenage son, you're best off not licking that keyboard. Not only that, but the keyboard contains the essence of you, and Dell, not the individual who wrote you a lengthy apology letter dabbed here and there with the stains of his tears, and their salty-wet fragrance.

There's a certain high that overcomes a person's mind as they hold an unopened enveloped marked with their lover's exquisite insignia. It's a feeling that you don't get when you notice "Hawtlips93" has sent you an e-mail in the past twelve minutes, no matter how detailed the note or artsy the poetry. There's a feeling you get when you hold a letter that reminds you that somebody out there actually gives a damn, and gives a really big damn, about you, about your life, about what happens to you.

Don't be selfish. Share that feeling.

Write back.

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