Some “futurologists” claim that e-mails will become obsolete within a few years. In fact, the importance of this communication channel has been diminishing in recent years, and there are significant problems that limit the possibility of a effective use, first of all the fact that it is very easy to falsify the sender (except in the case of the PEC, which however has a relatively limited use), making spam and phishing easy, without counting the mass of unwanted emails that often drown the relevant ones.
It is therefore natural to ask what about traditional mail: is there still someone who uses it? Undoubtedly, things have changed compared to the past. In the last ten years, the number of letters in transit in American post offices has fallen by 50%. With bills and traditional Christmas greeting cards removed, the average American family receives only 10 personal letters a year. In Britain, half of the children did not send a letter.
But in the face of this change, there are those who argue that it is time to return to traditional mail, which in an era of endless Whatsapp chats can allow the message to emerge.
The writer and humorist David Sedaris has leapt to the headlines for his habit of writing letters to his fans and to everyone he works with on book tours. He also sends a thank you note for those who invite him to dinner. “It’s too easy to do it via email. And it doesn’t even have much meaning”.
Psychologists also emphasise the benefits of traditional writing: when we write by hand, we keep the best information and can even increase our creativity.
In a study, Steven Toepfer, associate professor of human development and family studies at Kent State University in Salem, asked participants to compose three “thank-you letters” within a month. Participants could write to anyone, as long as the content was positive. With each letter, participants experienced higher levels of happiness and satisfaction and lower levels of depressive symptoms.
Since the paper requires more e-mail effort, Saeideh Heshmati, assistant professor of positive psychology at Claremont Graduate University, pointed out that recipients tend to “feel more loved because they took the time to do something for them”. Here then is that if the letter is accompanied by a cured envelope, such as those proposed by Paese delle Buste, the effect is even more effective.
Florence Isaacs in her book “Just a Note to Say” highlighted how in the digital age we are attacked by a flurry of information, many of which have little or no importance, yet personal words on paper are often saved in a shoe box, becoming a memory to revisit over the years.