When is the last time you have written a letter?
Not an email.

Not a text message.

But an actual, hand-written, letter?

 

In our busy and fast-paced world, hand-written letters are becoming more of a rarity. Why go through the effort of digging up an envelope and stamp when a quick email is only a button press away?

A few months ago, Denise received a letter from a former student thanking her for being an awesome professor. That student thanked her for her energy, her knowledge and her genuine show of care towards her students. That student was me.

Sure, I could have sent an email to Denise. But there is something special about a hand-written letter. It’s old school.  It’s genuine. It shows character, thoughtfulness, and there’s a level of sincerity that can be achieved when you put pen to paper. There is something special about a person’s script that makes the letter special.  I know my letter made an impact because she has kept it stashed in her binder and she talks about it all the time.  It’s how I got my internship. I don’t think an email would have had the same impact.

I firmly believe that as 20 something’s doing things that are considered old school will differentiate a person from their peers. While I don’t have a Jackson 5 afro, bell-bottomed jeans, or attend the skating rink every Saturday, I understand the impact old-school tactics can have. Instead of a video conference, a face-to-face meeting with a firm handshake allows you to show your best qualities. Instead of having a conversation through texts, a phone conversation can reveal emotions that a text message can’t replicate.

There is one characteristic that sticks out when it comes to old-school tactics. Interaction. Emails and text messages create barriers to communication. When emailing a colleague, it is impossible to receive immediate feedback and acknowledge the non-verbal cues that are so crucial to communication. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, 55% of communication is nonverbal such as facial expressions, gestures, and posture.

So the next time you want to show gratitude to someone, go old school and consider a hand-written letter. You may be surprised how much your relationship changes for the better.

Christopher is a junior studying at IUPUI majoring in Journalism and Public Relations and is working as an intern at Herd Strategies.