Choose one person (or more if you think you can handle this) to stop texting, social media messaging or commenting, etc, and start physically writing letters to…for a month. I mean, you’re still going to talk to them if you see them, but in person most of us aren’t too honestly verbal anyways, right? Our form of openness comes through quickly typing behind a screen. Even behind that digital shield, in a back and forth conversation we at times censor what we say out of the fear of the reaction. What will they say, what will they think, how will we answer? What if we read the unexpected? We don’t give ourselves time to process thoughts and information before quickly shooting off the next reply. Yeah, it’s a great honest game of word association, but have we really grasped anything? (Unless its emojis, most of those are pretty straight forward…most). There may be times we give ourselves a few minutes to think before we speak, but with our high technological expectations, you can only do this for so long before a delayed response is interpreted as a rude no-answer, potentially morphing the original tone of the conversation into an uglier one.
What if we had 2-3 days to think over a response? To know an answer isn’t immediately expected? To be able to take all our by-the-minute, flip-flopping thoughts and summarize them into a general feeling, avoiding the constant bounce between good/bad, happy/sad? (Because that itself can be taken as a confusing loop.)
Would we be more sincere?
Would we be more open?
Would our words have more meaning?
I challenge you to try this. It may not work. It may not fit. But give a chance to stop playing with your words, and start using them.
P.S. Mailing them would be awesome, but don’t let stamps and knowing addresses get in the way. Hand ‘em off. Fold them into a cute cube and pass it. Make it a paper plane. Just write it.