Advantages & Disadvantages of Writing Letters vs. E-mails

advantages and disadvantages of writing a letter vs email

You wonder whether you should send a traditional letter or rather want to write an email to convey your message?

Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of writing a letter vs. email in the following chapters.

Advantages of Writing a Letter vs. Email

  1. Letters are more personal
  2. You can show your loved ones that you care for them
  3. Letters can be more individual
  4. Letters are more conservative than emails
  5. You can attach physical things to a letter
  6. You can use your own handwriting
  7. Recipients don’t need electricity to receive letters
  8. Everyone knows how to write letters
  9. You don’t need any digital knowledge
  10. You can avoid computer viruses
  11. Letters have been used for many years

Letters are more personal

One advantage of writing a letter instead of an email is that you can convey a message in a more personal manner since people can open their letterbox, take your letter into their hands in a physical manner.

All this makes a letter feel more precious and of higher value compared to emails.

You can show your loved ones that you care for them

Writing a letter usually takes more effort and time than writing an email and by writing a letter, your loved ones will know that you appreciate them and that they are important enough for you to take those extra steps.

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Letters can be more individual

Another upside to writing letters is that they are just more individual compared to emails.

While emails are pretty standardized, you can write letters in various shapes and forms and letters can therefore just be more interesting than classical emails.

Letters are more conservative than emails

Writing letters can also make sense in case you want to communicate with older and more conservative people who are often not used to emails yet and feel more comfortable sending you letters instead.

You can attach physical things to a letter

Letters can also be a great form of communication since you can attach physical things as long as they are not too heavy.

For instance, you can attach a dollar bill to someone’s birthday card while this would not be possible via email.

You can use your own handwriting

Letters also give you the opportunity to use your own handwriting so that people know that it was you who has taken the time to write the message while emails could be written by almost everyone in theory.

Recipients don’t need electricity to receive letters

Writing letters can also make sense in remote regions of our planet where the supply of electricity is not reliable yet and people rather communicate by traditional mail to convey their messages.

Everyone knows how to write letters

Writing letters also has a pretty long tradition and most people out there are just used to it.

Hence, by writing a letter, almost everyone knows how to answer it while not everyone is used to writing an e-mail yet.

You don’t need any digital knowledge

Letters can also be a great form of communication for people who don’t have any digital knowledge and who therefore can’t just use email as an alternative.

You can avoid computer viruses

Since you don’t have to use the internet for writing letters, you can also avoid dealing with computer viruses and may save lots of time and nerves in the long run.

Letters have been used for many years

Letters have also been used for hundreds of years and have a high social acceptance among the general public and you can preserve this noble tradition by writing a letter from time to time.

As you can see, there are many reasons to write letters instead of emails.

However, there are also many drawbacks related to it that I want to discuss for you in the following chapter.

Disadvantages of Letters vs. Email

  1. You often can’t be sure whether someone got a letter or not
  2. You can send emails in real-time while it takes longer until letters arrive
  3. Letters are more costly than emails
  4. Letters take longer to write
  5. Emails enable you to communicate more efficiently
  6. Emails are the standard form of communication
  7. Your friends may think you are weird when sending the letters
  8. Some people may not be able to read your handwriting
  9. Letters hurt the environment
  10. Lots of useless effort in letters
  11. You may have better use for your time

You often can’t be sure whether someone got a letter or not

One problem with writing a letter is that you can’t be sure that the letter will be received by the person it was meant for.

Some letters just get lost and if you send something important that needs to be there on time, you better make sure that you get a receipt in this regard to avoid trouble later on or just write an email with confirmation of receipt to be on the safe side.

You can send emails in real-time while it takes longer until letters arrive

Another reason to send emails instead of letters is that you can send and receive emails in real time while letters will take much longer to send and to receive.

Letters are more costly than emails

Since you have to use a stamp for every letter, it can also be quite costly to use letters if you want to send them on a regular basis.

This is especially true for letters that you want to send to an international address since this often costs quite a lot of money while it is free to send emails all over the world.

Letters take longer to write

You should also note that letters often take much more time to write and you will also make more mistakes that are harder to correct than with an email where you can also just use spelling checks to get your work done in the best possible manner.

Emails enable you to communicate more efficiently

Since you can write emails much quicker and can also send and receive them in real-time, you can communicate much more efficiently by mail compared to sending a letter and this can save you lots of time and nerves in the long run.

Emails are the standard form of communication

Another reason to write an email instead of letters is that emails are the standard form of communication in our nowadays world and we will never get back to paper-written messages every again.

Instead, paper-written messages may even completely vanish sooner or later.

Your friends may think you are weird when sending the letters

Another downside to sending letters is that your friends may just think you are weird since it is pretty uncommon to receive letters from your loved ones in our digitalized age.

Some people may not be able to read your handwriting

You may also have pretty messy handwriting and the recipients of your letters may therefore not be able to read them and you may have done all the hard work for nothing.

Letters hurt the environment

Since letters are written on paper and paper is made out of wood, writing letters contributes to deforestation and all the unpleasant things that come along with it.

Lots of useless effort in letters

Since you can do so many things via email, letters may just be obsolete in our digitalized world and may lose their purpose pretty soon.

You may have better use for your time

Letters usually also take much more time to write and I am sure you will have better things to do with your time in most cases and may rather write a short email instead of a letter.

Top 10 Letter vs. Email Pros & Cons – Summary List

Writing a Letter ProsWriting a Letter Cons
Letters are more personal than emailsWriting letters takes more effort than emails
Letters are more individualYou have to spend more time on letters
You can attach physical things via lettersLetters take longer to send
Letters have a long traditionReal-time communication not possible
Reliable form of communicationYour friends may think you are strange
You don’t need electricity to write lettersLetters are considered obsolete by many people
You don’t need digital knowledgeWriting letters may be a waste of time
Good for the older generationRecipients may not be able to read your handwriting
Letters are socially acceptedLetters are bad for the environment
You can surprise your loved onesWe can save resources by using emails

Should You Write Letters or Emails?

Letters can be a great way to convey a message and are also more traditional.

However, emails are much faster and you can also make a positive impact on our environment since you can save lots of paper in the long run.

In the end, it is on you to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of letters vs. email carefully to make the best possible decision in this regard.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_(message)

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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