Why Your Friends Want a Handwritten Note from You [Infographic]


So, you’ve got over 500+ “friends” on social media.

You know every little detail of what they eat, when they go to bed, what upsets them, and who they invited to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Did you know that your friends would likely feel more connected to you and find more meaning in their lives if you would mail them a handwritten card?

Even Mark Zuckerburg gets it!

That’s right.  The creator of the largest social networking site in the world made it his annual challenge for 2014 to write at least one well-considered thank you note every day.

In a world of global connectedness and instant access to information, friends, family and co-workers are coming to appreciate slower real-world postal mail.  Physical mail offers a less stressful, more mindful way to connect with others.

I’ve put together an infographic showing how and why your friends and family actually prefer handwritten cards sent by postal mail over communication by social media.

Before we jump to the actual infographic at the bottom of this post, let’s look at why social media can feel so impersonal.

The Impersonal Nature of Social Media

In full disclosure, I realize the irony in sharing this blog article on social media.

Social media does have a place in our culture.  Social media is a great mass communication tool.

But, think about it.  What types of information do you post on your favorite social media sites?  Or, better yet, what are your friends posting?

The things we tend to share on social media normally fall into one of four categories:

  1. The mundane: what movie you just saw, what you had for dinner, you like a quote someone else posted.
  2. The emotional: you’re either having a bad day or a really good day.  Either way, you want your friends to share in the experience.
  3. The weird: you’ve shared it.  That viral video, the meme, the animated .gif, the impossible thing that actually happened.
  4. The too-personal:  the stuff you probably shouldn’t be sharing.  Your marital problems.  Dating woes.  How much you hate your boss.  You’ve seen your friends post this kind of information and it makes you cringe a little.

When you post, you should understand that all your friends are going to see it.  Actually, friends of your friends are going to see it.  And, depending on the latest privacy update installed without your knowledge, you may be inadvertently sharing it with anyone who cares to look.

But, how often do you actively post content versus passively scrolling through items posted by others?

A 2013 article in The New Yorker discussed how facebook makes us unhappy, stating that:

People spent, on average, far more time passively scrolling through newsfeeds than they did actively engaging with content.

We are more connected than ever, but feelings of loneliness are on the rise.  As Sherry Turkle puts it in her 2012 TED Talk, we are “Connected, but alone.

We are social people.  Social networks are supposed to help us be social, right?  What’s happening?  The Innovation of Loneliness film says that loneliness has become the most common ailment of the modern world.

We are collecting friends like stamps, not distincting quantity versus quality, and converting the deep meaning and intimacy of friendship with exchanging photos and chat conversations.

What if you want more?  More than just a simple “HBD” post on your birthday?  More than 140 characters about your friend’s big day?  More than a profile photo update?

More of the real person.  In a tangible way that you can feel.  Written in a way that you know it was meant just for you and no one else.  Something that you can hold and experience.

If you are longing for a little more from life than you are getting from social media, you’re not alone.

The below infographic summarizes a study conducted by global communications and emerging trends research brand JWT Intelligence revealing that Americans feel more connected when they send or receive handwritten postal mail versus digital notes.

If you are looking for a way to better connect with friends and family while feeling a deeper sense of meaning and excitement, then take a look at the infographic below for inspiration


Head over to Google+ or Facebook to share how a recent handwritten note brightened your day.