THE DOWNSIDES OF LETTER WRITING
Facebook is a progressive social media platform. Posting content to Facebook is free and instantaneous and way more convenient than say, letter writing, which has the following regressive downsides:
- The letter is an analog technology. Unlike computer monitors and touchscreens, “touch” letters are tangible objects with a fixed visual display. Letters are tactile, but do not provide haptic feedback to the user. They are easy to look away from. They do not cause eye strain. They are foldable.
- Writing a letter costs money and time, which incentivizes forethought and discourages the continuous transmission of socially acceptable platitudes. Both letter writers and letter recipients are aware of these costs, which adds gravity and solemnity to the whole thinking-writing-folding-stamping-sealing-mailing-receiving-opening-reading process.
- Letter recipients are determined by letter writers, not opaque algorithms.
- Letters are “liked” existentially, not socially. Sharing, commenting on, and responding to a letter costs money and time, which (again) incentivizes forethought and discourages the continuous transmission of socially acceptable platitudes.
- The contents of a letter are harder to sell to third parties.
- Key engagement metrics for letters include: (a) opening a letter, and (b) reading a letter. These metrics are, practically speaking, untrackable.
- Writing letters does not entail uploading my content free of charge to a Silicon Valley titan that is less interested in encouraging authentic communication than in expanding its market share.
- Writing letters allows me to be a Luddite, as opposed to merely feeling like one, like I do right now.