The Power of the Written Word

A few weeks ago I wrote thank-you cards to everyone who helped me throw a bridal shower. After the cards were sent, the bride-to-be told me her mother really appreciated the card and was more or less impressed with my efforts. That got me thinking…

Because I am a millennial, you may be surprised that I didn’t send an e-card or mass e-mail. Or sadly, that I sent a note at all. Well, call me old-fashioned, but this millennial still believes in the power of the written word.

Over the years we’ve developed many different communication tools. We’ve gone from fax to e-mail to instant messaging, and now hundreds of social networks. But in all this excitement, many of us have forgotten the value of ink. You remember, it’s the stuff that comes out of your pen.

With all the talk about growing our social networks and staying connected, how many of us take the time to show our inner circle how much they are valued? I’m not saying we should go back to writing long letters, and of course it’s important to be “green,” but sometimes a handwritten note says a lot more than an e-mail.

The Impact
Because we live in a world where online rules, sending a card has become quite meaningful. In business, receiving a handwritten note shows the person is serious about continuing the relationship, and will keep you a priority. In our personal lives, receiving a handwritten note shows how much that person cares. It means a lot to know they spent time picking out a card, and putting pen to paper. In both cases that person is showing they value the relationship.

I make it a point to write a thank-you card for every formal birthday or special occasion present I receive. (The exception that proves the rule being Christmas presents.) I also send holiday cards with a different message to each person. I send birthday cards, anniversary cards, valentine’s cards, it-was-nice-to-meet-you cards. I even send thanks-for-the-interview cards. And you would not believe all the thank-you's I get for doing so.

I realize this may seem like a daunting task, and I’m not suggesting you send holiday cards to everyone in your Rolodex (does anyone use those anymore?). But in an effort to be better communicators, it’s important to remember the joy and value you can bring to a relationship by taking the time to write a few sentences with ink. I promise one card is worth more than 10 expertly crafted e-mails.

3 comments:

You are awesome for supporting the handwritten card! I would plug my shop but right now I don't have any cards in there. Everyone loves getting mail, and writing by hand doesn't take much longer than shooting off an email. Much more impressive!

June 10, 2009 at 7:35 AM  

I love getting cards in the mail. The more cards you send the more you get. :)

June 10, 2009 at 9:35 PM  

totally agree with your comments ... but can you be a little more succinct ...

June 25, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

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