Our throwaway era of quick phone calls and DMs can never take the place of the sentimental history of handwritten letters, which still is a sacred and romantic way of communication and to keep the love alive hence, call us old school but the digital era calls for some fancy letter writing trends that inspire millennials to embrace the beauty of sending letters to loved ones. Nothing will ever replace the sincerity and individualism expressed through handwritten word in the era of digital communication and today, Gen-Z letter writing enthusiast are seen exploring the beauty enjoyed by their predecessors.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Anubhav Ankit, Co-Founder of The Indian Handwritten Letter Co., shared, “Since Covid-19 has hit us, there has been a huge jump in people of all age groups to use digital mediums of communication but it has also seen the quality of communications and feelings being shared dropping. Before Covid, most of the love letters that we used to pen were around generic stuff like missing you or the time we spent in the past. Now, it’s more about the little things (did you like the gift I sent you over/Did not want to bother you on Whatsapp but this is what I am going through). In a nutshell, the fanciest letter trend is people not wanting to pretend and keeping it real.”
Tawfik Manham, lead designer at Trimble Inc, Chennai and Head of #postcardperday project, said, “In this digital era, it is much easier and faster to connect with your friends and loved ones instantaneously. Digital platforms have their perks, what is missing is the tactical aspect of receiving a message. It is missing the personality and tone of communication expressed via your handwriting. This is what brings beauty to writing and sending letters.”
Amar Deep Anand of Postcrosser suggested, “I would say stick to the way you can express yourself in the most pleasant way. A letter or a postcard is embraced more for its content, you may use stickers, washi tapes and stamps as per the likes of the receiver but those who understand this hobby well, want their letters and postcards uncluttered. Simplicity at its best. Although the novel ways of folding the letter, origami and dried thin flowers are welcome contents with the letter.”
According to Shivani Mehta, Co-Founder and Organiser of Daakroom, letters need to be brought into a contemporary light as they are not something of the past but very much relevant even today. She said, “In the past, people wrote letters to a lot of people, as a hobby or simply for communication, for the lack of alternate modes of communication. Fortunately today, we can choose to write only to the most special people in our lives. Letters allow us to find the few most important people, amidst thousands of Facebook friends because they’re the only ones we’d take time out for in the fast life of today. To sit down and write by hand and we don’t necessarily have to write pages and pages. Even a small sticky note expressing love or gratitude for someone you live with can make their day.”
She recommended, “A fan letter to someone you look upto can stand out amidst the clutter of DM requests. A letter before you leave home for a work trip can end up in you being missed and loved even more when you’re away. And a love letter to your parents, saying things you always feel but seldom say out loud, can strengthen your bond like you can’t imagine. 50 years back, a letter from a loved one was special. Today, amidst all its digital counterparts, a letter still remains special. In fact, being as uncommon as it is, it’s all the more treasured.”
For starters, Saurabh Mehta, Co-Founder of EasyDaak and bioQ, advised, “A combination of physical and digital can bring letter writing up to date with today’s trends. Taking the best of what physical handwritten letters have to offer and combining it with the convenience of the digital. Letters have been exactly the same for centuries. To stay relevant, they could use some evolution! As a simple example, if someone writes a letter and posts it to someone on whatsapp, they’ve at least put their thoughts down on paper and spent time for someone. That’s half the battle and a great start.”
Letter writing tips and trends:
As per Amar Deep Anand, “Please have an aim in this hobby, work out on developing meaningful connections. When you write to foreigners, please understand that you are the brand ambassador of India. We must not demand anything from them, nor discuss religion and politics in this hobby.”
Shivani Mehta suggested, “While slow post and the time it takes adds its own beauty to a letter, if you are a beginner and unsure about when your letter will reach, consider using faster modes like speed post, registered post, or surprise someone simply by slipping your letter under their door, under their pillow or in their notebook! Find your reasons to write! Remember that a digital message will never make the receiver feel as special as a handwritten note can. Collect addresses of your loved ones in your phone contacts and send them a piece of your heart to treasure forever on birthdays, anniversaries, festivals, promotions and even just like that because why not. ”
She added, “The philately counter at every GPO of a city, even today, releases beautiful stamps on a regular basis, celebrating people, events, nature, architecture, food, etc. A picture postcard or a philatelic stamp can remind you of someone and compel you to share it with them. A small message with it will only make it more meaningful. Picture postcards and stamps are an opportunity to appreciate and share art with someone, telling them you were thinking of them. When you’re short of words but still want to send something to someone special, a postcard or a stamp can create magic on your behalf!”
Asserting that postcards and inland letter cards are the easiest and cheapest for one to start sending letters, Tawfik Manham said, “You can find them in any of the post offices near you. This is my first option. If not, you can always walk into any stationary shop and buy the digital printed occasional cards, such as happy birthday, happy anniversary or Mother’s day cards. Finding such cards is getting harder to find nowadays. What is unique about the Indian postal service is, with your 50p postcard, yes with just 50paise! your postcard will be delivered to any corner of India. Indian postal service is the world’s largest postal network.
Taking out a pen and paper, writing without hitting the backspace, capturing your thoughts, and having your handwriting imprinted on the postcard! Nothing can match this unique way of connecting with someone.”
Kirti Poonia, Founder of Relove, advised, “Spend time thinking about what you want to write and drafting the whole letter in your mind. Then start on paper. If you sit with a blank piece of paper you will not be able to start or finish. Incorporate letter writing in other newer forms, like writing an Instagram post in the form of a letter or sending an actual letter instead of an email.”
Anubhav Ankit insisted, “Understand whom you are writing it to. Keep it simple and to the point and be concise. For us, the most popular ones have been Harry Potter-themed letters. People are using the same to propose and one of the offices onboarded a few employees with ‘being accepted’ by the company.”
Rooting for the same, Saurabh Mehta encouraged, “Don’t be overwhelmed by the process. Take baby steps. Like I said earlier, write a letter/note and send a photo of it on WhatsApp if you find that easier! Or hand deliver it if you don’t want to wait too long! Add handwritten notes when you give something to someone as a small habit. Stationery is always a great push to get people excited about writing. The physicality of letters and the beauty of stationery go hand in hand.”