A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

101 things I love about letters: #4 Slowness

It's no news that digital communication is fast. And often that's a good thing. If I'm running late to pick up my kids, it's no good writing them a letter. But does everything need such immediacy?

I don't know the stats but I would hazard a guess that the most common form of communication these days is email. When I worked as a marketing manager in a large organisation I just about lived in Outlook, constantly sending and receiving emails, keeping the information flowing. And everything had to happen fast or what was the ponit?

It's hard to fight that corporate mentality when you're in the office, but then it can slip over into our personal life. For instance, I realised I email my Mum... but is there any real need for her to get my missive instantly?

I like the pauses between letters. I like that a little bit of life passes between the time a letter is written and the time I read it, and then a little bit more of life has passed by the time I write back, and then mores still by the time the recipient receives it. What I put into a letter is not information that needs to arrive quickly. It's more about capturing a few moments that can last a lifetime and will have the same value if they're read next week, next month or next decade.

It's like slow-cooking a casserole instead of grabbing drive-thru; or taking the long way round just to admire the view. It's a whole different value system.

And in a world where just about everything is available 24/7, I love a bit of slowness.

Love from Kaz

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