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Web 2.0 kills art of letter writing

Email has 'killed off the handwritten letter'

A page of handing writing ready for translation to a computer

Turn your handwriting into a font

Electronic communication has killed the art of letter writing, and spawned a decline in the number of postcards mailed, according to two separate reports.

Interest in writing letters has plummeted since the arrival of email and texting, says a report by Saga Zone the social networking site for the over 50s.

The online survey of 11,000 Britons found that more than half of 50-year-olds said they never wrote personal letters compared with just 30% of those aged over 70. This decline was blamed on the rise of handwritten notes.

Love letters

However, love letters were still valued, with two-thirds of those surveyed saying that a love note sent by letter showed more love and affection.

Emma Soames, editor-at-large of Saga, said: ‘Letters are valuable because a great deal of personal thought goes into writing them. 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.

‘Some of our greatest literary works have been letters – would Napoleon’s to Josephine have been so poignant had they been emails, and would they have survived at all?’

Postcards dying out

Other research shows that just 20% of people now send a postcard while on holiday. Touchnote, a company that turns pictures into postcards, said that over a third of those surveyed said postcards were too inconvenient to buy, write and post.

The rise of technology such as mobile phones and the internet are seen as the final nail in the postcard’s coffin with 65% of travellers now keeping in touch with friends and family via these channels instead. However, while the sending of postcards may be declining, over 90% of people say that they love receiving postcards.

Web 2.0 postcard

Touchnote is planning to revive the postcard with a product called Touchnote for mobile.

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