Skip to main content

The joy of receiving a handwritten letter...

I receive around 20 emails a day. I hit delete for most.

While studying letter writing in school, I often used to wonder, is letter writing relevant any more? I mean, who sends snail mail? Isn't it much more convenient to write an email?

Fast forward to a few days ago... I received a note, not really a letter, from a friend, whom I had the pleasure to know for over three months. The pleasure of reading the note really changed my perception about the composition exercise learnt in school.

So, what is it that a handwritten letter has which email lacks? Maybe it is the personal touch, the realization that a person has written the letter, and that it has not been written by a computer. Handwriting just happens to add a personal touch which the cold hard sans-serif font of email just cannot capture.

I also think that handwritten letters take time and effort into composition. This means that they generally have a better content than email, which is often written casually, in a hurry with little time to think about the content. Further, the time between writing a letter and posting it allows some more time for the writer to think about the contents of the letter. In contrast, GMail offers me at most 10 seconds to rethink about sending that email.

What I liked most about receiving the note from my friend was the thought that he really cared enough to write it. I am quite sure that if he had typed the same content or sent me an email with the same words, I would have just given it a glance, and maybe hit archive or delete. I don't think I would have read and re-read it many times over.

Maybe, as an exercise, we should write a letter to those that matter most to us, and send it by post. Doing so could just reinvent the personal touch in long distance relationships.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Build those noise cancelling headphones

So, here's another DIYLet me start by putting the cart before the horse. I shall start with the credits. This project was done while I was working on my Electronics Design Lab, along with my friends, Srujan M and Indrasen Bhattacharya. The work would not have been possible without the generous help received from the staff at Wadhwani Electronics Laboratory, who ensured that the only thing we did right was to leave the lab on time. This project would also not have been possible without the guidance of our dear and learned professors. It would probably have just about become additional dead weight on the head.Enough with the credits, now, I need to dive right into noise cancellation and how it works.The essence of sound is a pressure wave. The pressure wave, when incident on the eardrum sets into motion the complex mechanisms inside the ear, and after a long path, rather like the Cog advertisement, ends up making some nerves vibrate. The nerves send electrical signals to the brain, …

Reading List, December 2017

Brian Merchant, How email open tracking quietly took over the world, in Wired, 11 December 2017. [Online]: https://www.wired.com/story/how-email-open-tracking-quietly-took-over-the-web/It is no longer a secret that every website you visit silently tracks you in an effort to maximise ad revenue. What is less known is that emails also track you, through the use of tracking pixels and redirect links. These techniques were used by spammers and legitimate companies alike when creating newsletters or other mass email, in order to figure out their reach. What’s happening now is that private people are also using these techniques in order to create invisible and intrusive read receipts for email, which is incredibly frustrating from a privacy point of view.My solution to the tracking woes? I only open the plain-text component of email, which gets rid of tracking pixels entirely. Redirect links are harder to beat, and I don’t have a good solution for this.Dan Luu, Computer latency 1977–2017. D…