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The Letter Writing Project

March 21, 2012

Note: Pt. 3 of my ongoing series on Video Games will appear tomorrow.

I wanted to take the opportunity to alert readers to a project that I’m beginning. It’s called “The Letter Writing Project.” My goal is to demonstrate the value of the tangible and the meaning of a letter (and increasingly, a phone call). This is how it will work:

  • Each day, I will write one personal, hand-written letter to a friend of mine.
  • The letter contains a simple instruction: the recipient should write a short note reacting to the letter. They should describe what it meant receiving the letter in the mail. That’s it! 
  • Once they’ve written their note, they should scan it and e-mail it to me. “But that defeats the whole point!” you protest. Perhaps, but the project isn’t about my reaction to receiving hand-written letters. The scan makes the whole process quicker – you, dear reader, can enjoy these hand-written reactions as soon as they arrive in my e-mail inbox. (They are, of course, also welcome to send their note by post or take a photo of it).
  • After I’ve received the note, I’ll post it up on Technology Uninhibited as soon as possible.

Why do we love this?

The inspiration for this project comes from “Luis,” a high school student profile by Sherry Turkle in her book Alone Together. Luis admits to Turkle that he has never received a handwritten letter. He says: “I miss those days [of handwritten letters] even though I wasn’t alive.” How poignant! Wasn’t alive? Luis, it is my sincere hope that because of this project, you receive your letter. I don’t know who you are, where you live, or how that could ever happen, but I want it to happen.

I want this project to generate a discussion about the things that we value, how we value them, and most importantly, why we value them. These are things like time, the tangible, friendship, snail mail, etc. This isn’t just a discussion between me and my friends but one for the whole world. So take part!

If you’d like to participate in this project, let me know! I’d be happy to write you a letter. You just won’t get one for awhile.

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