„You got mail!“ – how confused would you look at someone shouting this sentence who is not your computer?
On the other hand: Who would not understand this someone’s surprise if he really found an old-school handwritten letter in the mailbox?
Today we are used to getting official letters as computer typed versions via mail – they’re bills or advertisements. Our emails are typed, too. Therefore we’re all exited if we get some handwritten lines.
The obvious advantages of computer typed letters and emails are that they can be produced much faster. Many people are able to type without looking at the keys and many of the letter-forms and phrases can be copied from former letters.
Therefore the effort of writing such a letter is as small as possible. Furthermore the delivery of an email does not cost anything but the normal internet costs.
Therefore it is less expensive than sending a letter via mail. It is also very practical that emails can be send to a lot of people at the same time and that digital attachments can be added.
Handwritten is personal
Handwritten letters clearly are more personal. They display various features of the writer to the reader.
Only by looking at the handwriting the reader can tell some things about the one who wrote the letter. Whether he was in a hurry for example or – if the letters are of an elder kind – even of what pupils‘ generation he is.
And while the computer erases almost all of the spelling mistakes in a handwritten letter they cannot be concealed. But that is all part of the individual character of a letter written by hand.
Furthermore it is known that writing such a letter takes much more time and effort. Therefore these letters are highly valued and often kept.
But what is a handwritten letter good for if the handwriting is so tiny or curly that it cannot be decoded by the reader?
Computertype sure to be deciphered
If a letter is considered as a medium that is meant to tell one person what another person thinks, wants and feels and this cannot be decoded properly the letter doesn’t have a function any more.
With computer typed letters this won’t happen. The font can be varied and there are only very few types that cannot be understood (like „symbols“).
Because of that computer typed letters are to be considered more effective in order to convey messages.
With regard to the arguments above it can be said that writing a letter by hand or typing it is on the one hand a matter of personal preferences on the other hand a matter of practicability.
However, what mustn’t be forgotten is that with the invention of the telephone the amount of letters declined very much.
Type of letter depends on message
If it wasn’t for computers or the internet the writing of letters would probably never have gained the image of being a practical or fashionable tool to convey information ever again.
Therefore it can be said that typed letters may not be as personal as handwritten ones but they are the up-to-date descendants of them.