In a world of mass media and mass email and group messages and group texts and group meetings, it is important to keep something in mind: the messages sent may be small electrical impulses and packets of data traveling through the interwebs; however, the recipients are not those things. Indeed, I assert that the recipients are for more. Individualized and personalized messages will serve your recipient better and it will have such a positive and profound impact, the effects of which are almost too good to squander.
Take the humble birthday. How often has the reader been the recipient of a birthday card, a birthday text, or a birthday post (whether on Facebook or Twitter), and the message was a generic, poorly-thought cluster of words. It’s as if the sender’s only intention was to save themselves from grief had the sender forgotten one’s birthday.
“Happy Birthday! Have a good one! #LackofCreativity #IGiveZeroFucks”
The handwritten letter is a relic of eons past. I cannot remember the last time I had received a handwritten note. It was perhaps in grade school from a crush. Alas, that was perhaps the last time I scribbled a handwritten note. Who has time for such a banal task? Why reach for pen and paper when one has the mighty cell phone? One can arguably put more words downs when typing, however, I contend that those typed words will never captivate the reader like their written counterparts. It is in the time which one takes to formulate a handwritten letter and the subtle variations in words—the lexicon specific to the writer and the physical appearance of the written words—that give letters their richness. It is this richness, a lasting impression of emotions unhindered, that remains long after the words have been read.
To a loved one, this could come at a time when they most desperately need it. During hardships, a letter of sincere friendship and solidarity and love could help warm a heart and sooth a soul. How many excuses can one contrive in an effort to absolve oneself the duty of a properly written letter? Is such absolution attainable? Would it hurt to write a few more words? If search engines and advertisements are tailored to the user, would it be unreasonable to expect a modicum of personalization in the gifts which one receives from friends and family? Or a modicum of personalization in the gifts one gives?