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Editorial blog

It’s time millenials put pen to paper

05 Mar 2018

Forty-three per cent of millennials have never sent a handwritten letter, thank you card or parcel to someone they know.

Research into the nation’s communication habits has revealed that sending handwritten letters, thank you cards and surprise parcels is a dying art amongst millennials. Due to the unstoppable rise of smartphones and social media apps people are communicating more than ever, with 42 per cent admitting to texting their friends every day and over 208,000 pictures being posted to Facebook and 65,000 images posted on Instagram every single minute.

As a result, the art of physically posting something to a loved one is dying out with 40 per cent of millennials confessing to never having sent a handwritten letter, 46 per cent have never sent a surprise parcel and 42 per cent have never sent a thank you card.

The study by ipostparcels also discovered some confusion as to how the younger generation want to communicate because, despite 43 per cent never having sent a letter, card or parcel, 80 per cent are sad that these aren’t sent as much any more. Eighty-one per cent of those surveyed also said they would feel more excited if they received a package or a letter in the post from someone they know, over a text or message on social media. Receiving a surprise parcel from a loved one was also ranked as the thing most millennials would be most excited to receive from a friend or family member above all other forms of communication.

Most tellingly, 75 per cent of millennials agreed that sending physical forms of communication strengthens relationships and shows you care more about that person yet 40 per cent said that it takes too much time and 30 per cent said that they’re too lazy or can’t be bothered.

But there are ways to bring the millennials back to the fold and pick up a pen.

Rachel Owen, Marketing Manager, STAEDTLER (UK) Ltd, said: “At STAEDTLER, we’d agree that sending physical letters and cards seems to be dying out which is such a shame. There’s nothing like receiving a card or letter unexpectedly in the post. It’s such a simple gesture and so easy to do, yet it has terrific impact.

“Valentine’s Day, birthdays, weddings and other special occasions during the year like Easter and Mother’s Day are the perfect time to put ‘pen to paper’ and send a little personal note to friends, families and loved ones. Retailers can capitalise on this by creating impactful in-store displays of cards and notelets, merchandised alongside beautiful, colourful, writing products to inspire shoppers.

“Metallic pens, such as our metallic markers, are ideal for writing cards and gift tags. Our new triplus broadliner is also a great writing pen. Notes can be written in attractive colours or perhaps cards could be embellished with hand-drawn detail. It’s definitely the perfect opportunity to let your imagination and creativity run wild.”

Psychologist Dr Saima Latif said: “Digital forms of communication often comprise of short phrases and emojis to express what we mean. The effect of abbreviated forms of communication is that emotions and feelings cannot be expressed as effectively and can sometimes be misconstrued. Unfortunately this can trivialise our relationships making them more superficial rather than strengthening them.

“On the flip side, sending a parcel or letter creates the type of connection that digital communication often cannot. Receiving a parcel or letter from someone we know makes us feel instantly loved because we appreciate the time and effort that has been put into creating it. These forms of communication create memories, as people often keep letters and cards and look back on them years later, whereas digital communication is often deleted or discarded.” So make the most of this and play up the keepsake and memories aspect of presents, cards and letters.

Boxes to hold letters, ribbons to tie them up and all the best and colourful stationery associated with holidays and special occasions to help push them back to the pen.

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