Here’s a question for you: when was the last time you sat down and wrote a well thought out, beautifully written letter? I’m willing to bet that it was so long ago that you can’t remember. You might even be whispering the word “never”.
The sad truth is that either of those responses is completely understandable, because thanks to digital technology the ways in which we write has radically transformed in the past 15 years. Emails, texts, tweets, Facebook… today’s communication options are endless and, boy, they are fast. So fast in fact, that it is diminishing the quality of our long-distance communications.
As a writer, it pains me to see that the demand for faster ways of staying in touch is becoming more highly valued than the quality of the actual writing. Expressing your thoughts in a 140-character tweet or a Facebook posting is what your friends want, and they want it five minutes ago. Sadly, that demand for immediacy is discouraging us all to practise the dying art of letter writing. That is, at least, until recently…
The traditional letter makes a comeback online
Lettrs is a web-based service turned iOS app that lets you write letters on your phone or tablet and send them out physically to your recipient. This brilliant blend of old and new takes the classic letter writing format and gives it a new lease of life for a 21st century generation.
Mobile voice, data and pictures can all be added to your digital letter, which can then be turned into a paper post letter. You can personalise your user-experience by choosing from more than 20 fonts and themes. Essentially, it’s no different than typing an email, but knowing that it will be physically printed encourages you to put a bit more thought into what you are writing.
A letter says more
Write using Lettrs and you can have it printed on linen paper and the envelope that it is sent in is hand-addressed, scented and sealed with wax. It’s a more thoughtful mode of personal communication than anything else digital, and the efforts are more rewarding for both the writer and reader.
Drew Bartkiewicz is the founder of Lettrs and a few months ago he told online blog Mashable why he wanted to start this project, “I hope people will choose to take time to create a ‘lettr’ when more purposeful words are desired, but with the efficiencies of mobile and social firmly intact.”
“Implicit with the phrase ‘I sent you a letter’ is the notion that someone took time to choose more deliberate words, more completed thoughts,” Bartkiewicz says. “And the words of a letter delightfully exist without a ‘reply’ button hanging over them.
Fighting back against bad spelling and gramer grammar
Lettrs will also be offering a school program called Literacy Through Letters that teaches today’s generations about the aspirations of good letter writing.
“Because lettrs exists within their world — digital, social and mobile — we believe we can improve the way students communicate with each other and us ‘older people’ in perhaps more valuable ways,” Bartkiewicz says. “We hope lettrs becomes a place that students choose when they have something more complete, purposeful and lasting to say.”
You can find out more about Lettrs by visiting its Apple iTunes Preview Page.