You know that moment when you go check your mail and you realize that among all those bills there is a card...for YOU! Think of that excitement when you see that someone took the time to send you a card just to say they were thinking of you or hoping you get better soon. There is just something about having something tangible that shows that you were on that person's mind.
The internet is a wonderful thing! Social networking helps people stay in touch and keep connected with old friends. Emails are a great way to make plans, conduct business, and share news with family and friends. However, it should never replace taking the time to hand write a card to someone and pop a stamp on it. That act is something that is timeless and should never be forgotten.
When I was growing up, my mom always taught us to send a thank you card after we received a gift for Christmas or our birthday. This small act wasn't simply to say "Thank you" to someone; it was deeper than that. This taught us to invest in people and relationships. It taught us that people are important enough to take the time to personally thank them. This has carried into my adulthood. When I moved down here to Texas, I sent personal thank you notes to the families that helped us in the process. I know that if my mom was raising us up in today's internet world, she would still make us send out a personal thank you note, not just say it on Facebook.
Now I know what you may be thinking: you can send a thank you message on Facebook and it's the same thing, right? Wrong! A message on Facebook or Twitter is not the same thing as taking a few moments to write out a thank you and stick it in the mail for that person.
Recently, I was invited to a baby shower via an online invitation website. Honestly, my first thought when I received it was, "Did they just click "everyone" on a giant list of people to send this to me?". I didn't really feel invited. Instead, I simply felt like they were trying to find people to ask to come. I chose not to attend this baby shower. However, if I had received a personal invitation in the mail I probably would have gone because that invitation would have told me, "Hey, I want you to come to this event so much that I'm going to take the time to personally invite you!"
Ever wonder why people still send out wedding invitations? Because that event is so important to them that they want YOU to be there!
But I don't have people's addresses! Then ask them for it. You can easily send out a Facebook message saying, "Hey, I'm inviting you to this event. Can I get your address?" But follow this up with the actual invitation, because that's the important part. Then make sure you save their address so you don't have to ask for it again.
But I'm tight on money! Do you ever hit up Starbucks when you're out, or grab fast food before work or class? Well for the price of a cup and a half of Starbucks coffee you can buy 20 stamps! I would say that relationships are more important than a cup of overpriced coffee (I'm not hating on Starbucks, I'm sitting here now!).
But it's really last minute! I completely understand last minute plans, I think that happens all the time. In that case, at least take the time to call them, not send out a mass Facebook message or email. It's not the same!
There is nothing wrong with using the internet to connect with people. However, our generation has lost touch with the importance of investing time and energy into people and relationships.
My challenge to you today: send your friend a card. It may simply say, "I'm thinking of you!" But it shows you care enough to take that time. It may seem small, but just like many of us were taught, "actions speak louder than words!" I promise you, these actions are huge.