Is e-mail missing that personal touch?

Today, you and I use email on a daily basis. It’s quick, easy, fast and most often reliable, but has the art of effective emailing been lost? Is it just another mundane chore we do online along with our instant messaging and RSS feeds?

I asked myself these questions as I’ve been using email much more frequently in recent times, whether it be communicating with my university lecturers or keeping in touch with old friends living abroad.

E-mail is a great way to quickly get a message off to whoever you need to write to, and is alot faster than tradition paper-based mail, but is it just as personal than a hand written letter? I guess it could be if you really tried. A written message of love sent to a girlfriend for example is still a written message of love is it not? Regardless of the medium in which something is written, every writer has the ability to add that ‘personal touch’ to their document/letter/communicae, correspondence, etc in whichever situation may deem appropriate.

These days, email can be send with all kinds of things that we ‘used’ to use when writing hand written documents or letters such as the use of stationary, signatures (electronic signatures), attachments, pictures and graphics and even things that we never really could attach to our writing before such as audio and video.

Many people i’ve heard saying that email is great, but it doesn’t have that personal touch you get with writing good old traditional letters, and I’ll agree with these people up to a certain point. I know that if you are trying to be romantic, a beautifully hand written letter will kill an email hands down, but for more business oriented or ‘quick message’ situations, email is great and should be used as much as possible.

When was the last time any of you out there hand wrote a letter to somebody? A friend, family member, significant other…the list could go on i know. I can’t remember the last time i actually sat down and wrote a letter to somebody for anything really, email is definately the way to go I think. Its just sitting there waiting for you to send something off. You don’t have to leave your house to post the letter, its just a matter of sitting at your computer, write whatever the hell you want to say and send it.

Here’s an open question for anybody to respond to: Which do you prefer, hand written letters or e-mail? It would be interesting to see i think.

2 thoughts on “Is e-mail missing that personal touch?”

  1. Hey Juds… I personally prefer sending and receiving hand written letters… However, I do agree that for business/uni purposes and generally for convenience sake, an email is the way to go. Anyways, had to put my 2 cents in and speaking of emails… i do owe you one (I haven’t forgotten)..


  2. As a child, the handwritten postcards (there was no other kind then) that my Nana received from her lifelong friends were a fascination, for three months while in boot camp ten years ago I wrote regularly to my then fiancé, and I have kept a handwritten journal for over twenty years. Only recently, however, have I attempted to share my own private practice and revive it among my close friends whom all, save one, live on the other side of the country. A set of picture postcards of personal photographs on archival paper sent to all as holiday gifts will hopefully be the means for them to begin a return to the carefully considered handwritten word. Even as I was preparing to send the postcard set out for the holidays one dear friend e-mailed me to say she missed old-fashioned letter writing and wished to continue to stay in touch “by hand”.

    As children grow up with computers in schools, at home, in libraries, and elsewhere it is up to those of use who remember a time before word processors and e-mail to hand down a tradition that is being taken for granted and silently dying. The last generations to be born before the personal computer were not prepared to face the possible demise of handwritten correspondence because such a possibility is only now being recognized; perhaps too late but hopefully not. The handwritten word is not something any society can afford to lose. It is the lowest common denominator for any civilization. Even as we surrounded ourselves with technology it is our ability to communicate with the written word, not typed or processed, but written that insures our ability to do more than simply survive. When all else has faded, decayed, or been destroyed it will be civilization’s ability to communicate with the written word that will insure its ability to thrive.

    It is nothing short of magic that with only ink, paper, and able mind we can create something out of nothing; and in our ability to create we glimpse the power of our Gods in ourselves. For now, we need only instill in our young charges a desire to see their thoughts, their ideas, flow as words from their impressionable minds onto paper using only their hands, a pen, and an inkwell.

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