Do you remember the days before email? When the mailbox and the phone were the only connections to the outside world? (Well, the only two-way communication, that is.) When you could go to the mailbox and find a personal letter, handwritten or hand-typed, that gave you all the news for the last days or weeks? The days before the SEND button made letters cold and digital?
Yeah, me, neither.
However, there is a certain charm and appeal about a handwritten letter that you just don't get from an email. A tactile pleasure that isn't like something you've printed out after receiving it. It means, without a doubt, that someone was thinking about you while writing it, looping words on a page that came straight from someone's head, no .net connection required.
I've recently rediscovered the art of pen pals. Though I've always been into the whole letter-writing scene with my friends (and varied strangers on varied projects), I really enjoy opening up my mailbox and finding something that isn't addressed just to "occupant" or has an expectation of a mortgage payment.
And although it seems contradictory somehow, the internet has a virtual slew of pen pal information and connections for those seeking a more artful -- and more personal -- mode of communication.
Slow down, write more letters, and learn to love your mailman.