I grew up in the 70's and 80's where I had to hand write Thank You notes. I wrote letters to penpals all over the world and still have one in Rome, Italy today. As the INTRAnet became popular in college, then AOL mass marketed their CDs of thousands of free Internet hours, quality handwritten letters have gone by the wayside.
I remember decorating envelopes, making my own stationary, writing lines in different colors, dotting "i's with similes or hearts. I remember trying to figure out: how do I sign certain friend's cards or letters to penpals? "Love"? "Sincerely"? "Take Care?"
Do they even teach letter writing in school anymore? I have two high schoolers and a middle schooler and I think my oldest learned how in elementary school but not his younger siblings. I had to teach them how to address an envelope, where to put the stamp. They don't even write Thank You's anymore because they text or email it sooner than I can even ask them to write a letter. (And don't get me started on cursive disappearing!)
When I moved here three years ago, I sent some of my friends handwritten letters just to be different, to show how much I loved them and to see what their response would be. One was very surprised, the others loved it and told me it was nice to get something other than bills or junk mail.
Have you sent a handwritten letter to anyone recently? I still send paper Birthday and Christmas cards but since my handwritten letter binge three years ago, I haven't sent any letters. It's just easier and quicker to do it via email. However, the feeling of writing and receiving a letter is not something that can be replaced. To know a person spent time sitting and writing and making an effort to spell things correctly is something that can't be given via a computer.
This being said, I wonder how many authors till use pen and paper to write their stories?