Manly Skills

The Importance of Letter-Writing

Afternoon gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! First off, apologies for not having an article up on Saturday, I got caught up with a trip to Disneyland with my girlfriend and didn’t have much time to research a topic for today. I still felt guilty about not having an article up though, so I hope you’ll forgive me in putting up this one so late. In any case, let’s get to the rest of the article.

It’s no surprise that email and social media have become so commonplace today that the art of letter-writing is in danger of practically dying, which is a shame. Letter-writing is a much more personal and honest way to talk to someone as opposed to just sending someone a text message or DM on Instagram. So today, I’m going to go over how to write a letter as well as its importance today. So before this article turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

For starters, it’s important to understand that most of what I’ll be talking about today is informal letter-writing – that is, writing a letter to someone like an old friend, family member, lover, etc. As such, the rules of writing can be somewhat fluid. The salutation can be the colloquial “Dear [recipient’s first name]”, or it can simply be the recipients name. If it’s a close friend or even a lover, feel free to include any salutation as well as a silly nickname or pet name. The letter can also be formatted in any way you please, but the content is where it counts. Informal letters can be for a variety of purposes; a thank you note, a letter of congratulations, a condolence letter, a love letter, etc. While most of these formats can be very personal, you’ll want to save pouring out your feelings for either a love or condolence letter. If it’s anything else, the you’ll want to keep it colloquial; let the recipient know how things in your life are going, ask how things in their life are going. Even with all the types of informal letter formats I listed above, most of them are just life updates like what we do on Facebook. As for closing your letter, choose whatever you want. It can be “sincerely”, “regards”, “love”, or anything else that comes to mind. Lastly, when it comes to what you want to write your letter on, it can be just about anything. It can simply be a piece of notebook paper or printer paper,  or it can also be a piece of formal stationery, something I would suggest for a love or condolence letter. Now with all of that out of the way, let’s get into why letter-writing is so important.

As I said in the beginning of the article, the rise of the internet and social media has led to electronic communication becoming essentially the norm. While there’s anything inherently wrong with that, there are two very important things that written letters have that said electronic communication doesn’t: human connection and honesty. Since it’s so much easier to be anonymous on the internet, it also makes it a lot harder to actually connect with people you meet online. Even if you’re not directly talking to the letter’s recipient, there’s a level of connection there that isn’t present online. Think about it. It’s your pen that writes the physical letter, your saliva seals the letter, and your hand that puts the letter in the mailbox. Just those three small things allow for much more connection without actually talking to them. Plus, since it obviously takes more time to write a letter than it does to type a text message or Facebook status, the recipient will be much more touched that you took the time to write them that letter.

So there it is! Hopefully this gave you young gents reading a better idea of how and why to write letters more often. If any of you are interested in more details about letter-writing, be sure to check out this piece by the Art of Manliness that gave me inspiration for this one. They go into a bit more detail about formal letter-writing as well as how to address an envelope for those who don’t know. In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article. Please be sure to share the article, follow the blog, follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and support us on Patreon. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!


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