Snailmail vs Email: Does anyone mail hand written letters/cards anymore?

United States
January 10, 2009 4:07pm CST
I've noticed that with the advancement of technology and the internet, it seems like less and less people write real hand written letters and mail them. Instead it seems like the new normal thing to do is send an email or an ecard. Which do you prefer? Personally, email is fine for keeping in touch but a nice handwritten note in your mailbox is so much better. It's more personal when someone takes the time out of their day to take a pen to paper and write a note and then place it in a pretty envelope and mail it. I do a lot of emailing and I send eCards too but I try to remember to take the time to mail out letters and cards when I have the chance because it know it means so much to the person who receives it. My aunts and uncles are older and some of them do not use email so they get left out by some of the younger relatives who only seem to use the internet to keep in touch. I try to send them a little handwritten card once a month and they always send me one back. And I wonder.. do people ever send "thank you" cards anymore? It seems like manners have gone down the drain with the current generation. My son is 17 but ever since he was born, I made writing "thank you" notes to people a priority when they give him something. When he was too small to write them himself, I would write them for him. As soon as he was old enough to write, he was writing his own. When I give gifts to my nieces and nephews .. I have NEVER received a "thank you" note from them. My nephew is a brat and won't even say thank you when he opens his gift in front of me but you would think his parents would make him write a note. He's 6 years old and old enough to start learning how to appreciate people and the things they do for you. Do you send "thank you" cards?
5 people like this
18 responses
@stephcjh (32388)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I usually use emails for sending cards and such accept for Christmas time. I send out real cards. I write emails but sometimes send letters also but not very often. stamps are too high.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Jan 09
i dont use snailmail very often at all anymore. course it is easier to stay in touch via email...but probably the over-riding thing for me, is how bad my handwriting is lol! really bad. though i do occasionally send a cute little card i come across to my neice with like horse stickers or something inside it. she is a little girly girl and my sister says that she squeals in delight whenever she gets one! i dont think ive sent out an actual Thankyou CARD in years! i really should though, it is polite after all.
2 people like this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Hi, I do find that I do less hand writing of letters and cards than I ever used to. I even have given up on doing Christmas cards through the regular mail. It just seems like a waste of paper. I used to make my son send thank you notes all the time when he was younger, just like you did. I will still send a thank you note if I receive something in the mail, but not if I see the person in person. I will just thank them while I am with them. Happy MyLotting! Char
• United States
11 Jan 09
I still rely on snail mail, because with this technology theres always some kind of problems. Because I don't accept any cards or anything via email if I don't know who it is plus theres alot of my folks that just won't or try to get into HIGH TECH WORLD(as they tell me)(LOL) so I'm in between both worlds.
2 people like this
@arvintot (401)
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
Here in the PHilippines... the hand written letters are still being mailed just for the reason that not all filipinos can do aaford or does not know about email.. but it is only on some provinces and some people.
2 people like this
@muru1950 (964)
• India
11 Jan 09
Hi HeavenUnaware I only use Email. Of course now I have become lazy to write hand written mail. Even if I have to write someone who is not having a Email ID,I hesitate to write. And I just talk to them over phone. Even my hand writing has gone bad,because of no practice. What to call this? The technology saves our time ? Or technology make us lazy? I am happy to note,you do write some letters to your aunts and uncles who are old. Certainly those letters will give them more happiness.It is good that you have taught your son to send thank you cards. I only find the younger generations failing to appreciate relationships. They live in a separate world,the so called internet world.For them chating with unknown persons is more important than moving with family members and relatives.
@Erin88 (348)
• United States
10 Jan 09
I send more email than snail mail, but I do still write letters. It seems more personal. Some of the people I write to, prefer to receive handwritten letters. I don't send thank you's through email. I always send thank you cards.
2 people like this
@Rozie37 (15505)
• Turkmenistan
10 Jan 09
I was just talking to my aunt about this earlier. She does not have the internet and she was talking about how expensive greeting cards are. I was telling her that now most people send e-cards for free. This past Christmas, I sent quite a few snail mail cards out.
2 people like this
@jillhill (37357)
• United States
10 Jan 09
I still send cards because I make them....I bet I drive everyone crazy too as they get one for every occasion.....I am with you...where have the manners gone...the thank you's are almost nonexistant! My sister said that I am the only one who sent her a thank you for hosting our family Christmas...I always write a thank you..but even my own kids don't make theirs write one!
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jan 09
Hi HeavenUnaware, good topic. I agree with you, handwriting letters and thank you notes is quickly becoming a lost art. I try to write letters to friends and family, I know how happy and excited I get when I get a letter or a card in the mail, as oppossed to an e-mail or even a phone call. I am trying to teach my grandchildren the importance of sending thank you notes, I try to send thanks to everyone I can. It it is so nice to be remembered and appreciated. So a lot of times I will send thanks just for being you types of cards, along with birthday cards, I make sure to always send a handwritten sympathy card to my friends who have lost a loved one, so important and valued at very sensitive, and trying time. I feel sorry for your nephew, by not teaching this very basic skill, I feel he will miss out. It is an old cliche' but for me it is true, it is so much more rewarding to give then to recieve. Thank you for discussion, now I need to get off and send out a couple of overdue thank-yous from the holidays LOL! be happy, be joyful, be safe, be strong!!! oohcute2340
@Haloman (122)
• United States
10 Jan 09
i know what you mean it's like people forget that mailboxes exist, i share a mailbox with the people that live below me and i have to often knock on their door and give them their mail cause they leave it there for like weeks at a time like they don't know a mail box exists i personally don't write or mail a lot of things out but it's only because the people i would be sending it to live in the same town i do i haven't travelled very far and i don't know many people who live far enough away that it would be neccessary to mail them things but i would love for someone to send me a letter in the mail and if they did i would be more than willing to return the favor
2 people like this
@anetteh (3591)
• Sweden
10 Jan 09
Well, no not much I have to once in a while. My kids grandfather and grand mother lives far in another town so I have to write a mail by hand no or then. But since as you say, there are more done online handwritten letters are rare. I even forgett that I have to make mail and send by mail. Seing your discussion made me realize it is some while ago I did send them a letter. So therefore, tomorrow I will take some time to make a letter for them. I send cards for birthdays with flowers from the flowerstore. But for those who have computers and are online often they have a ecard.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 09
I'm absolutely in love with writing letters and just finished writing one this morning, as a matter of fact. I write a letter twice per week (I have a penpal in two different states), so I'm an active writer. In addition to this, I help my children write to their grandparents because they have some in Florida, and some in Washington. Each time we receive gifts from out of town or out of state relatives or friends, we write thank you notes. I believe this practice has really taken the back burner now that email and ecards have grown in popularity. I prefer sending and receiving cards through traditional post, but I don't see that happening with my peers very much. I prefer the postal system because it helps keep me ground as a "writer." The actual act of "handwriting" keeps me grounded because that is, after all, how I got started as a writer. I love the feel of the paper, the smell of the paper, how the pen feels in my hand, and how the paper feels after it has been written on. I love seeing "fun" mail in my box, rather than bills and junk mail as well.
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Email is so much easier. Occasionally I will send a Thank you note, or a card via the mail. I don't think the emails are appropriate for sympathy, if I am sending a sympathy card, I will always send a real card, or bring one to the services. Also I think Get Well Cards are much better sent via regular mail, that way the person has something in their hands to look at to chear them up. As for Thank you cards, if the person I need to send it to is on the internet a lot like I am I will just send an email, if they are not in to the internet, I will mail one. But most correspondence, if I can get away with it and it is appropriate to do so, I will email it.
• United States
11 Jan 09
I personally prefer email over snail mail for many things. It's faster for one and I don't have to wait for days for an answer. But I find it depends on the person I am corresponding to. If they like cards or get very little mail, I tend to write so that they have something to look forward to. My grandmother loved getting letters and cards and for her, if I didn't write back by letters, it didn't count.. (yes, I was always behind. Even calling her on the phone never canceled out a much beloved piece of mail.) I will say that those that have email addresses hear from me much faster, but I do send out letters the old fashioned way when I need to.
• United States
11 Jan 09
I still do both email and snail mail. Although I don't write letters anymore, really. I send cards for birthdays, get well cards, and thank you notes. Other than that it is mostly email that keeps me in touch with both family and friends. Oh, and phone calls of course. I think cards are a great pick me up to those that recieve them. I enjoy getting cards in the mail as well. It just makes me feel good that someone took the time to pick out a card for me and put it in the mail.
1 person likes this
• Romania
26 Mar 09
A very nice discussion, and i feel relaxed answering that. yes, I do send 'Thank You' cards, i am pretty attached doing that. Ecards are also nice, and i use them often, because i simply like some of them. For Christmas I did send ecards to all my friends and relatives / well, for closest friends and family, there are always many other ways to communicate, no only ecards or emails. About the 'Thank you' cards, my new boss did that recently, and I was very positively impressed. We commented that at work too, he became popular and we work in a familiar atmosphere. So, I think encouraging kids to continue this practice is not a bad thing but a nice one.
• United States
14 Jan 09
I think that is a very sweet thing that you do and most people should do so. I am not so sure that most people in my life would be appreciative of something like that when I did so, though. I get birthday cards, and invitations at times, other than that, snail mail in that regard is rare in my life. Though, some I know still write letters, mainly due to not having many other ways to contact.