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Fantastic Mrs. Fox

February 26, 2011

A good friend of mine sends me a card—without fail—every holiday since she’s moved to another province with her husband. Being considered her friend is a gift in itself, as she is one of the most generous, thoughtful, and FUN people I know! Not only has she been inspiring and encouraging during and after our time in design school, I always feel special when in her company.

Having never actually sent her a card back (I got very close this Christmas but never made it to the post office. A very poor excuse as it’s right across the street…major fail!), I feel like maybe my friend-ing skills (I say this word as a verb because it really does take continuous effort) have fallen by the wayside a little. I am not the most outwardly sociable person on the planet, nor can I consider myself very adept at keeping in touch. I’ve tried to make up for it by expressing my appreciation in multiple emails, but clicking on the “New Mail” button to open an email doesn’t really have the same effect as opening the seal of an envelope does it? I didn’t think so either. The anticipation and surprise that builds around seeing the distinct shape of an envelope that won’t contain more bills, the resistance and sound of the paper as you break the seal…these are unrivalled feelings in the digital world.

A few weeks ago (right after I received her Valentine’s card) I read an article about our increasing inability to connect with people ‘in real life’ as opposed to over the Internet. I won’t spoil the article for you, but the gist is that our face-to-face social skills are quickly eroding due to our dependency on social media networks to relieve real-life social anxiety. I believe it. While Twitter and Facebook make great business sense and enable us to connect with faraway family and friends, do we really want our personal relationships to consist of tweets, IM’s, and wall posts? I, for one, would like to develop and maintain stronger relationships than that.

So what’s a girl to do when digital communication just won’t cut it? Go back to the basics, of course! A hand-written one-line note is infinitely more personal than 100 long emails. Also, the time taken to select the stationary, compose the line, and address and mail it says a lot more about love and friendship than a ♥ or a :).

There is something luxurious about sending and receiving hand-written mail, especially on beautiful paper. Having an artistic background myself, and a penchant for creating catchy taglines, I’ve been thinking about designing my own cards and personalized stationary. It might take awhile before I have something ready to use, but I think it will be worth the wait for that extra something special.

And by the way, Mrs. Fox, yours will be the first letter I write…

 

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