How does one stand out these days?
Write a thank-you note. No, not a thank-you email, text message or tweet. Banish the multiple exclamation marks (!!!!!) or the CAPITAL letters and silly emoticons that attract attention but fail to convey meaning. All these things tend to get lost in the whirling and hectic schedules of the times.
Rather, stand out by expressing personality through the warmth of the handwritten note. That’s the advice of many who are observing the primacy of social media. Such sentiments are not just nostalgia. There is a trend inside society today that favors handwritten notes. Some people are starting to value the opportunity to stop, sit down and think about things. There is a yearning for the human touch, not the keyboard tap.
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In fact, written notes are making a comeback. Stationary makers are reporting growing interest after years of decline. Indeed, the 2014 National Stationery Show will be held in New York City with 800 exhibitors and 12,000 attendees expected. Typed out stories of the written note’s demise are thus premature. There are definitely those who keep the note alive and well.
A written thank-you communicates a message. It conveys the ideas of deliberation, intention and affection. Written notes force one to think out a structured statement that calls for good grammar, expressive penmanship and decent spelling. One cannot just dash off a piece of text without capitalization or proper grammar like that which is so often found in a lot of today’s e-communication. In addition, the irregularity of handwriting projects the personality of the sender in an explosion of nuance that can be read between the lines. The thank-you-note experience strikes an emotional chord that strengthens human bonds in personal life and in business.
Indeed, is this not what is needed in a world that is frenzied and out of balance? Any kind of return to order calls for the restoration of that human element that makes life in society agreeable. In addition, personal bonds expressed in touching gestures of gratitude help build up the social capital that makes up the heart and soul of any true and balanced economy.
The spirit behind the note reinforces all those things that really matter like honor, courtesy and duty. Such enduring traditions have a staying power, since one cannot instantly delete them like an email. More often than not, they are like handwritten notes that linger about the desk inviting the recipient to read and reread them. Amid the digital desert where emails and text messages are like shifting sands, the handwritten note is a refreshing oasis.
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Is there a special handwritten letter that you received that impacted your life? Please tell us your story below.