I heard on the news today that Australia Post now earns more income from parcels related to online retail sales than to standard mail.
That’s no great surprise – the very fact that you are reading this online is evidence of that!
But while we have seen the steady decline of non-digital correspondence, I would caution people who think that the letter, personally addressed in a stamped envelope has had its day as an effective communication medium.
In fact, I think there is something incredibly powerful now about receiving a letter that’s been personally addressed, hand-crafted, perhaps even handwritten.
One of my great regrets in life is having poor handwriting. I envy people who can write in a script that is crisp to the eye and easy to read compared to my bird-scratchings.
I feel this most at times when I want to convey deeply personal messages to family or friends, perhaps after a bereavement or to mark some happier time like a special birthday or engagement.
My best efforts are usually typed and occasionally I even feel the need to apologise by simply explaining that the thoughts are genuinely felt but conveyed via computer simply to ensure readability.
Whether typed or hand written, the main advantage of the good old snail mail letter is its ability to convey a personal message and to illustrate effort in not being content with photocopied feelings.
If a picture paints a thousand words, so does a crafted, personal note. It cuts-through the noise of a world so crammed full of messages that we are struggling for meaning.