Saturday, May 17, 2014

Snail Mailing: An Artistic Hobby

With our dependence on computer technology, an important natural human skill slowly gets unused and soon to be forgotten. Hopefully, the latter won't reach its goal. I'm referring to our handwriting.

Hi-technology and the ease of typing on computer keyboards have set aside the human grip on pens. It is replaced by pushing keys, touching screens and handling of a stylus. The smooth manual flow of our thoughts through ink is substituted by robotic strokes. Still, it is quicker not to handwrite. Who wouldn't want more time in their hands? It's practical, isn't it?

The comfort of typing an email message gives everybody more availability to do other things. Sending out an electronic message doesn't need a week of waiting, or worse a month, like how snail mail is delivered to its recipient. Communication is faster, and more results are attained because of it. Gone are the days of slow process. Everything is quick in 2014. Well, not really everything.

Do we really want our handwriting to disappear? I heard different stories from my friends about how their kids have bad penmanship. Of course, a legible, readable handwriting needs practice. We all think it is done in school. Unfortunately, computers are all used in schools nowadays. Plus, text messaging on cellphones is also popular. Sadly, it distorts correct spelling as well. During my school days, we used to write essays using our penmanship. Now, though, a lot of kids type their essays for homework. If I'm the teacher, I'd be skeptical as who wrote and typed it. If I do a handwritten essay, I'd be proud to say it is my work. My penmanship is the sole proof.

Fortunately, there are some who believe that handwriting is important. They keep it alive by doing Snail Mailing. Still, not all of them use their handwriting. There are some snail mailers who type their letters due to medical conditions. However, I'm pretty sure they handwrite on the envelope. I have penpals who would do anything to retain the life of their penmanship. Snail Mailing is now considered a hobby, which is the opposite of when it used to be designed as the sole bridge to communicate with international friends. In fact, legible handwriters perceive penpaling as a form of art. I have to attest that it is a bit of an expensive hobby at this point (i.e. cost of postage, stationery, decorations, etc.), unless you know how to use the right tools (i.e. paper weight, envelope size, envelope weight, etc.).

Speaking of tools, Snail Mailing is also a great twin of paper crafting and collecting vintage stuff. Old, used postage stamp is an example of one of the things I collect. Plus, stickers and other paper decor enhance my creative imagination. It makes the whole hobby an artistic release. Did I mention cute stationery paper pads? Now, that's a budget release. *laughs*

Where do we find a penpal nowadays? There are a whole bunch of groups online, and I have been a part of some of them. If you want to continue the art of handwriting, try checking out the following groups:

League of Extraordinary Penpals - Paid membership, monthly or annually. Awesome moderator and very friendly members! Everybody's like a family to me. It's a superhero kind of thing.

Letter Writers Alliance - One-time membership. Great snail mail products for sale on their website. I just love everything about this group. Very friendly and all about snail mail. You have to try the Pigeon Mail. It's fantastic!

International Penfriends Club - Paid membership. This is the very first group I joined back in 1989. I got a whole bunch of penpals through them. I had to stop after 1993. I miss my penfriends. Memories.

Global Penfriends - Free and Paid membership. Of course, you'd get more control when you pay. It's a bit boring when you're free because you don't get to contact people you're interested to write to.

Interpals - This is totally free. Just beware of a lot of scammers, stalkers, and weirdos from other countries. Still, it's great when a one-of-a-kind snail mailer sends you a message and create a life-long penfriendship with you. You'll never know.

My only advise is this: It is a hobby. It shouldn't be stressful. You should know how to let go of penpals who don't click with your interests or who are just causing you too much drama. It should be a fun activity! Focus on the usage of your handwriting instead. Don't let it be a lost art.

Happy Snail Mailing!


  1. Handwriting is a lost art that's for sure. I belonged to the International Penfriends Club too! I joined in 1987 and letters from my penpals dwindled in the 90s too although I recently reconnected w/ a friend in Oklahoma, via Twitter first then Facebook. I find that I have trouble spelling when I handwrite. I make a lot of mistakes, reversing letters, forgetting letters....then I end up crossing stuff out. I tried to catch up in my journal when I moved here - from 2009 to 2012 at that time. I got writers cramp and there are so many scribbles and cross outs. Even doing my gratitude journal I screw up. Typing's just so much faster!

    1. I totally hear you on that. My family history of arthritis is saying, "Hello!" to my wrist and fingers. Still, I continue to write letters manually. I just can't feel the greatness of Snail Mailing without handwriting my letters. At least, I keep it alive. I'd never want it dying on me. Maybe, if I can't hold a pen with one hand, I'd use two. LOL

  2. What a lovely article Sonnia, enjoyed reading it very much. I love writing on a daily basis, if I don't I feel like a fish out of water.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting and reading my blog. I am so happy that you are here. I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to share your comments. Do understand that it may or may not be approved at once, since I want to review the content of your comments first. I protect my readers all the time, and I would not want to have something posted that would offend anyone. Unfortunately, if you are commenting under an Anonymous handle, your comment won't be posted. Have a wonderful day!