You’ve Got Mail

You know what makes terrible sense financially? Writing letters. I mean, why would anyone want to propagate such a practice? All it does is cause you to spend money on stationery, lead for your pencil, ink for your pen, stickers, stamps, etc. etc. etc. And for what? Most of us have access to a computer and the internet (you certainly do, if you’re reading this), so we can always just send off a quick email that conveys our message to the ones we love, right? Right?

Wrong. How many emails do you receive in a day? Ten? Twenty? Now how many letters? I mean letters – not bills or advertisements – genuine, bona fide, honest to goodness letters. One or two per year? Excluding the Christmas season of course, which is rather an exception in the letter-writing world. In any case, the number of letters one receives is not really what is important, but rather, the feeling that this scarcity creates.

As we all know, scarcity raises an object’s value. That’s why book collectors pay so much more for a first edition than they would for a regular copy. It’s scarcer, so it’s worth more. I personally react with giddiness/outright elation when I receive a letter. Carefully splitting open that envelope and unfolding its contents make clicking on an email, whatever it may hold, seem rather anticlimactic in comparison.

This is not to mention the importance of what a letter represents for personal relationships. A letter is not just meaningful because it is scarce, but rather because it shows us that we are loved. I’m not saying that those who email their loved ones instead of writing them a letter love them any less; I’m just saying that letters are a much more tangible expression of said love. They mean that someone cared about us enough to spend the time hand-writing a letter and buying a stamp.

So, get out there and start using up that stationery people have been giving you for the past fifteen years (I really hope I’m not the only one to whom this happened). I personally like to decorate mine with the Lisa Frank stickers which I’ve also had for over half my life, as those who receive my letters know (and are delighted by, I’m sure).

Look familiar, 90's kids?

Always remember: when you choose convenience and saving money over everything else, you always stand to lose more than you gain.