Now that the Christmas card season is almost upon us, I thought this item from a few months ago might be appropriate. I received a press release back in May (I'm slightly behind with my emails) which states that people prefer receiving handwritten 'thank you' cards rather than a quick tweet or text message. This comes from research carried out by Clinton's the card company, so I imagine that if the research had shown anything else we might not have heard about it! Even so, I think on anecdotal evidence there is probably a lot of truth in this:
I have a cousin who likes to send and receive handwritten 'thank you letters'.
Someone once told me that if he received an electronic Christmas card from me he'd delete it, as he thinks people should take the time and trouble to write and send proper cards.
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Here's what the press release said:
"Research for Clintons finds that a handwritten thank you letter or card has six times the impact of a thank you tweet. In the study, commissioned by card makers Clintons, researchers found that, while 160 billion instant messages were sent last year, it's the hand written gestures that make people feel happy.
In an Omnibus poll of 2017 adults, 79% of respondents said they liked receiving a handwritten, hand selected card or letter through the post, compared to 13% who said that they liked receiving a Tweet. In another study, Clintons found that the average UK adult writes between 25 and 50 words by hand per week – fewer than ten a day.
Surprisingly, antipathy to digital greetings reaches into the first fully digital generation. Only 7% of 18-24 year olds said they were happy to receive a thank-you via text."
I think the statistics relating to 18-24 year-olds is interesting. Now, even if you wish to take this research with a grain of salt, it might be worthwhile to find out what your students think. I have to say I myself am always impressed when I receive a handwritten note rather than a text message or email. Do your students think that an electronic 'thank you' is so effortless that it amounts to not being a real 'thank you' at all?
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