Losing the Personal Touch
With the convenience of social media platforms, youths these days hardly write handwritten birthday letters to their friends these days. This article looks into the digital shift of birthday wishes, and why handwritten letters are our preferred choice in conveying a sense of personal touch
Words & Illustrations by Cerise
Remember the time you sat down to jot a heartfelt letter to someone? Times have changed, and even birthday greetings are going digital. Social media platforms like Whatsapp and Instagram allow us to whip out our phones easily to send a message or even dedicate a birthday post. Today, wishing our friends “Happy Birthday” is now just a matter of a few clicks.
In the past, birthdays were occasions where people would shower the birthday celebrant with well wishes, gifts, letters, and birthday cards.
Now, with our busy schedules from school or work, it’s more convenient to send out birthday greetings digitally rather than pen down a letter physically.
Sending birthday messages on social media platforms might seem like a better option when one is deprived the luxury of time. However, it’s difficult to convey your sincerity using online platforms as words that are simply sent through the internet lacks the emotional sincerity of a letter.
In contrast, a handwritten letter sends a more personal message as your thoughts and feelings are poured into a tangible card. In addition, writing a letter brings out your individuality and distinctiveness to the receiver.
The effort to make your receiver feel special is not restricted in the form of writing. Birthday letters can also include something unique along with it, such as calligraphy, pop-up designs and drawings that makes the receiver feel special when they receive it.
I fondly recall how I felt upon receiving a card filled with birthday wishes from my volleyball teammates in secondary school. Within it was a compilation of my unflattering photos and some group pictures of us. Instead of feeling a wave of embarrassment over the photographs, I was touched by the sheer thought and effort put into the card. The same feeling of personalisation would not be felt if those well-wishes and photographs were delivered digitally.
Although birthday wishes conveyed through social media platforms still remain meaningful to me, I still feel a more genuine sense of connection when given a handwritten letter.
With the increased usage of social media platforms, it is unfortunate that physical birthday cards are not written as often as before. Perhaps, we should all start by writing a birthday letter to an upcoming birthday celebrant around us. Who knows, you might forge a better relationship with them through the tangible sincerity conveyed by your handwritten letters.