Art of letter writing 'dying out’ as people use email and texts

Art of letter writing ''dying out’ as people use email and textsLondon, April 20: Interest in the art of letter writing has declined since the arrival of email and texting, according to a new research.

As the number of people communicating electronically soars, less than half of 50-year-olds now write personal letters by hand, compared to more than seven in ten 70-year-olds, a survey for Saga magazine found.

The online survey of 11,000 Britons over-50s showed that it was the rise of high-speed communication technologies that have replaced handwritten notes.

The survey found that while 47 per cent of 50-year-olds and 72 per cent of 70-year-olds wrote letters by hand, only 21 per cent of respondents did not value a handwritten postal letter more than a typed letter or email.

About 45 per cent of over-50s said that writing and receiving personal letters was more "emotionally fulfilling" then sending and receiving emails, while 19 per cent disagreed.

"Letters are valuable because a great deal of personal thought goes into writing them. And they can be financially rewarding with considerable value to archivists, historians and at auction,” the Telegraph quoted Emma Soames, the editor-at-large of Saga magazine, as saying.

"Emails might be good at getting news out quickly but they are not a simple out-and-out substitute for a time-considered thoughtful letter. I mourn its passing," Soames added.

But love letters still continue to be valued, with 62 per cent of respondents prefering to receive a love letter by post rather than by email, which was favoured by seven per cent, or by text message, preferred by three per cent.

A third of respondents said they had kept handwritten love letters from their past.

The survey, however, has warned that future biographies may not be comprehensive because electronic messages are more easily lost or destroyed than the collections of paper letters that authors have traditionally relied on. (ANI)