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Man sitting at his desk writing a handwritten letter to a pen pal at his Alta Dairies apartment

Why You Should Be a Friend's Pen Pal


The way we keep in touch is always changing. But that doesn't mean we can't go back to older forms of communication. At a time when in-person gatherings are less frequent, it can be especially fun to exchange letters, drawings, and photographs with a friend or family member. More personal than a text, handwritten letters can provide novel opportunities to stay in touch, as well as many other benefits. Here are a few reasons why the art of the handwritten letter can benefit your friendships and relationships.

Physical Letters Are Future Proof

Text messages are great – they’re instant, they allow spontaneity, and you can send them from just about anywhere. But cataloguing the special moments you share with your friends and family isn’t exactly intuitive. Worse, as technology changes, so does the way we store data. Ports that seem essential can become obsolete. And good luck finding anyone who’s used a floppy disk this century. That’s what makes physical letters so special – assuming you keep them stored safely, their condition shouldn’t change much over the years. Plus, if you want a digital backup, it’s easy to scan your letters or snap pictures of them on your phone.

You’ll Get to Know Your Friend Better

There’s something about the process of writing by hand that invites you to think differently than you would in any other form of communication. When you receive a letter from a friend, you’re seeing another side of a person – and they, of you. Writing by hand also gives you the opportunity to use fun stationery that expresses your personality, as well as stamps, stickers, and other decorative elements. On top of that, you can send lightweight gifts like photographs or doodles to make your friend smile.

Writing a Letter Is a Good Way to Relax

Sitting down to write a letter takes time and concentration. You have to consider what you’re writing – there’s a limit to every piece of paper. It’s that quiet focus that is actually very soothing and important to your well-being. Throw on some chill music, settle in, and tell your friend what’s on your mind. Even you may be surprised to find what you have to say.

Letters Are Little Time Capsules

Each physical letter you receive is a memento – a time capsule of a time and place, not only of when you received it, but of when your friend took a moment to think about you. There’s something special about holding a letter, looking over the handwriting, the novel expressions, the creativity you share. When you pull out an older letter, it takes you back, and you can learn and grow through the gift of introspection.

You Can Reach Out to Someone New

Are you wanting to make an impact? Some senior living communities are looking for pen pals – which has uplifted many residents who are sheltering in place. PenPal Schools offers children from around the world to collaborate with each other online. You could also consider writing a prison inmate. Reaching out to someone from a place of empathy, curiosity, and sincerity can be an enriching experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned pen pal or you’re looking for new ways to make deep connections with your friends and family, we hope this post helped you out! Be sure to check out the Alta Dairies blog for more lifestyle advice and entertainment ideas.

Alta Dairies


777 Memorial Dr SE Suite 100 Atlanta, GA 30316