Formal Writing Decline: Technology or
Lack of Energy?
Formal Letter writing has a rapid
but steady decline, about 2% to 3% every year. Very few would argue that
digital forms of communication are more practical. Instead of anxiously waiting
for a whole week to receive an answer, many would rather pick up the telephone
and receive an answer within minutes. I have not encountered a single person
who is not excited to get a letter in the mailbox. The feeling that someone
went through the trouble of mailing it is surreal. Although technology may seem superior, handwriting
letters have been shown to be therapeutic.
The main cause of Formal writing
decline is ever advancing technology. A text message, depending on one’s
internet carrier, can take anywhere from 1-3 seconds. The text message can send
whenever there is a millisecond of the internet. Smartphones have many features
such as verbal commands, auto correction for misspelled words, artificial
intelligence assistance, and putting in proper punctuation marks. This new
generation is becoming dependent on these features making them less tempted to
write letters to family or friends.
A Call saves people time and money.
An average millennial would only call if the message they are trying to convey
is important. Doctors use a mixture of calls and formal paper mail a.k.a “Snail
Mail” to uphold their patient’s confidentiality. A text is sent to internet
towers while a call is not recorded at the stations. A paper message has the
most discreetness because it is illegal to open someone’s mail. No one but the
receiver will be able to contain the information inside.
In addition to telephones and
landlines, the youth are being raised on other communication devices such as
iPods, iPhones, and Kindles. I-pods have the same functions as a normal
smartphone except that it does not have cellular data. I consider my iPod my
training pone, the same as I would consider a training toilet or picture books.
I-pads are more basic but their size makes it easier to handle for less
Social media now has more features
to allow widespread communication. It is in the middle, time-wise, of texts and
calls. Social media is far more accessible and has money in mind. One could go
to a library and talk to a family member for free on Facebook or Instagram.
Without the use of cellular data, it proves to be the cheapest and fastest form
of communication to date, snatching the title of Snail Mail murderer.
Another cause of the decline is
schooling. Most teachers in high school, even college and beyond have emails as
their primary form of contact. We are taught adults in charge want us to use
the latest and the brightest in technology instead of old-fashioned forms.
One of the effects of the decline of
Snail mail is lost jobs. Less and fewer mail carriers are needed in the big city.
Younger folks almost never send mail anymore. It is simple math, the less mail,
the fewer mail carriers. It is a deteriorating business. Neighborhood post
offices are closing down due to the lack of letters. As a result, people are
having to drive farther for a post office. This creates more hassle then there
already is, turning away customers. The entire United States Postal service is
low on money. This creates the payment options the government can’t afford,
creating yet another cause of the formal writing drought.
Formal Letter writing has a hasty
but reliable decline producing stress on the whole US postal system. Very few
would argue that digital forms of communication are more practical. I have yet
to encounter a person who is still not excited to get snail mail. Technology
has proved to be prefered form of communication.