In one of my writing skills classes the students were given the assignment of writing letters to their friends on how they spent their last summer holidays.I was shocked beyond words to find that in a class of forty only about five students did justice to their jobs, while the others just dawdled, waiting for the class to get over.
This experience did not leave me annoyed for the laidback attitude of the students towards their task. Instead, I was worried and concerned, knowing fully well that such an attitude is not going to take them any far.This prompted me to ponder on what could have caused their inability to complete their given assignment.
The above situation brings me to the topic of today’s discourse, that is the dying habit of letter writing in today’s world. While I can still remember writing and exchanging letters among friends and cousins in those days, I can’t coax my daughter to do the same today.The reasons, however, are obvious.With the internet and the smartphones having made its foray into our lives, why would one even bother writing those long letters, which appear to them to be nothing short of mere drudgery?This, however, is an alarming symptom as it has made the youngsters absolutely callous towards the use of language, be it correctness of words or appropriateness of sentence formations. Besides, their inclination towards the use of sms language is another cause of concern as it reflects even in their answer scripts. Surely internet has caused us, particularly our children more harm than we can repair.No wonder then that the children of this age are clueless about the use of such stationery as postal stamps, postcards etc. Therefore, it is no surprise that they are unfamiliar with the functions of a post office, a place frequented by us.
Coming back to the art of letter writing, I consider it to be one of the most powerful tools of communication.If we want our children to develop a love for creative writing, the best way would be by exposing them to some of the best written letters. It would also be a good idea if schools could organize letter writing contests, or for that matter such activities as ‘write a letter to your friend/ cousin/ parents’ and have them hand posted.
Until then, let me enjoy my space and allow my imagination to run wild.