How to Be a Great Modern-Day Pen Pal
April 3, 2020
Texting, calling, video-chatting—modern technology has made keeping in touch easier than ever. But still, there’s nothing quite like getting snail mail. There’s something nostalgic about it, like reading a paperback. And it’s nice to know someone cared enough to actually sit down with pen and paper! Revive the pen pal tradition, but make it modern with the help of these tips.
- Find a pen pal. The first place to look for a pen pal is your own contacts list. Chances are, you’ll be able to find someone there who would enjoy sending and receiving snail mail. If you can’t, the internet offers many safe alternatives. For instance, the Worldwide Snail Mail Pen Pals hosts a closed Facebook group where members must meet certain standards to join and search for a pen pal. Anyone who doesn’t live up to those standards is immediately removed from the group and blocked.
- Choose your tools. Before you sit down to write your first note, make sure you have all the tools you need. That includes, of course, a pen or a pencil and some paper. If you want to really impress your pen pal, print out some free stationery or DIY your own by hand!
- Enlist e-mail as a backup. The only downside to snail mail is that true to its name, it takes longer to reach your recipient. So if you find yourself falling behind in your correspondence, let the internet help get you back on track. When you don’t have time to drop a note in the mail, send an e-mail update instead—bonus points if you put it on some cute virtual stationery and request your pen pal prints it out! You can also create a shared Google Doc where you can “pen” letters to each other on an ever-growing document.
- Get the whole family involved. Bring your kiddos into the fold, too, by setting them up with a family or friend pen pal. Writing and decorating letters isn’t just great for their brain, it can also help settle their emotions by giving them an outlet and providing a space for creativity.