Manners Monday: To email or not to email?

The CCM household is big on thank you notes. We may not be as prompt as we should be, especially during hectic times (i.e. The Dragonfly’s thank you notes from her birthday are still waiting to be written… pass me the Cone of Shame) but we still stick to handwriting thank you notes. It’s funny, some of my friends know how much we like to write thank you notes, that one of them actually forbade me from writing her a thank you note after she brought our family dinner after the birth of the Dragonfly. (Nina, that still makes me laugh!)

There is something about getting that special little note in the mail. After all, we tend to only get bills or junk mail in our mailboxes these days, thanks to electronic communication. You might get lucky and receive a card or two on your birthday, and of course Christmas brings with it loads of mail in the box, but what about the other times of the year?

A letter in the mail, for whatever reason, is personal and thoughtful. It makes the recipient feel special, that you took the time out to sit down and put pen to paper. But admittedly, we are all very busy people and that could lead to unwritten thank you notes and a giver wondering, “Did they receive my gift? Did they like it? Did they notice it?” In that case, you have to think that an email thank you note would really suffice. It takes less than 5 minutes to sit down, type out an email and hit send and you are done. There’s no walking to the post office or making sure you have stamps (speaking of which… another price increase? Really?) No worries about your note arriving mangled or damaged or even worse… lost! But is it the same?

There is debate out there about the merits of teaching cursive handwriting in schools. The thought is that people so seldom handwrite the written word and therefore, is learning how to write in cursive really needed or is it an antiquated throwback to the olden times? Sure, electronic copies last forever in the cloud, but is the romantic nature lost? Could you imagine your great-great grandchildren reading the emails that you and your honey shared and getting the same reaction as reading the handwritten love letters between your great-great grandparents?

There is a time and place for everything and in my humble opinion… heartfelt sentiments and thank you notes deserve ink, paper and a stamp. But that’s just me.

What do you think? To email or not to email? Is cursive a skill that kids should still learn or should it be let go?


Filed under etiquette, manners, monday

4 responses to “Manners Monday: To email or not to email?

  1. Wendy

    I agree, and I’m glad I’m not alone on tardiness 😉

    I’m a huge cursive advocate! But it’s because it’s faster to write so when kids Pre-write and draft (especially important on standardized tests!). Speed is important because kids think faster than they can write and lose valuable thoughts trying to put pen to paper. Kids writing cursive have less of a problem here.

  2. David

    I think it depends. Emails are fine for some, phone-calls for others, and hand-written for others. I think it’s important to be well-rounded. We’re well-rounded in other areas, so why not personal expression? For example, I can do odd jobs around the house, like changing light fixtures, fixing broken items, lately I had to re-learn the art of laundry and clothes-folding (not to mention bra-clasping-wife has a broken wrist :), basic hair cutting, minor auto repairs, making heavenly meals out of tough, cheap cuts of meat, to name a few. Today, people are too specialized. I watched “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” on Game Show Network last night, and it’s amazing how a PhD doesn’t have a clue what a proper noun is…The only thing I want to specialize in is loving and serving the Lord…

    • David, you are quite the hubs!

      • David

        By God’s grace, I work hard at it. It’s not easy, but I know what my responsibility is-to provide for my family and get them all to enter heaven.

        Also, I wasn’t always that way, as I think I’ve told you. She has to put up with me and my weaknesses, too…

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