Consider This: A Lost Tradition

It's long overdue, but I'm making a New Year's resolution.

One of our newest employees, a 24-year-old photographer, has never written a letter. E-mail hit the scene when he was in elementary school; then came instant messaging, text messages and voice mail.

I was shocked to hear this. His entire generation is the product of a computerized, impersonal age. To them, the mailbox has always been filled with bills or unwanted coupons and advertisements. They've never known what it's like to communicate with a friend in such a tangible way; to actually hold a letter written by someone important in their life. There's nothing like it!

The beauty of letter-writing is the lack of short-cuts. The current generation wouldn't understand that. Their high-tech notes are filled with lingo and abbreviations that are as awkward as pig-Latin: TTYL, PIR, LOL.

In most cases, technology is meant to speed up our lives, but that doesn't necessarily make life better. In a letter, you not only have the time to write your thoughts out, but isn't it true that the more pages in the letter, the better?

Ask your parents or grandparents and undoubtedly they will be able to pull out a stack of love letters that they've saved for decades; text messages and e-mails are just clicked open, read and deleted.

I was going to explain all of this to my young friend, but decided not to. How could I? Truth is, it's been years since I've written a letter myself. So that's my belated New Year's resolution: once a week I'm going to write a letter to an old friend. I know: OMG.

Who knows? If you join me, we may be able to save a great tradition. That's what we think. If you want to tell us what you think -- put a stamp on it!