Inspiration is the key!
Letters. An unknown medium of communication for some. I’ve just come up with a worrying thought, that those who belong to the newest generations have no idea what a letter is (maybe theoretically) and have probably never sent one! That might sound crazy to the people of my own generation, meaning those who are just 30. But I guess we’d feel the same about older people using the telegraph.
However, the telegraph was a limited way of communication and it was left behind, relegated to the past, because the telephone had arrived. Perhaps, some might have argued about this, decades ago: “why should I pick the telephone over the telegraph when messages are put on papers and words fly?” Good point, but arguable. The telegraph was way too limited, and the telephone made communication much much easier, faster, clearer.
Could we say the same about mobile phones? These relatively recent creatures embodied an evolution of the telegraph and the telephone. I’m not even citing letters yet.
Some think of texting (or tweets!) as a way of getting more creative, pushing the mind in working communication skills in such way to fit those numbered characters allowed. The result is that most of the times, the language itself suffers from horrible manipulations which originate text slang or abbreviations which I’ve always seen as anything but an evolution!
Texts: instant delivery / limited message: You can’t get any faster service than that of texts, but it’s probably the most limited form of communication you can think of.
Letters: slow delivery / unlimited message: On the other hand, the letter has no limits, you can have as many words as you can and you can explain yourself better and exhaustively. But in terms of delivery it takes days, even weeks, depending on the destination. There’s actually a way a letter can avoid suffering from its physical status, it’s called e-mail, as previously hinted. But where would personality go? Where is the graphic experience of writing going?
Texts and tweets are still the only effective way of instant communication. To share an idea or short messages one prefers the convenience of saying a few things with no redundancy, and avoids energy and effort, even mental, which writing a letter requires .
The danger is that the convenience ends up increasing the human laziness, even the basic communication needs: if you want to make a well-prepared speech and want to communicate the best of yourself without misunderstandings, then no text will do. The letter, although appearing to many as an antiquated method, is the only established system that not only expresses a personal communication and has been doing so for centuries, but also carries with it personal traits such as the handwriting. Even the letter’s apparent descendant, the email, would never be able to communicate that. Not a single scan.