What Can We Do To Save The “Thank You” Letter?
Here in the UK, there is a publication called Debrett’s that tells everyone how they should behave – they are the etiquette experts.
And the media, up-and-coming business men and women, as well as the newly wealthy, are quick to rush to Debrett’s when they need to know the right way to do things.
Debrett’s are emphatic on the subject of good manners.
To them, a “thank you text” is considered unacceptable.
In fact Debrett’s even go so far as to say a text thank you is rude!
I say that although perhaps a text or SMS is not ideal, surely it is better than no thank you at all…
Debrett’s do go on to say: “If you know that you’re unlikely to locate a pen, paper and a stamp for a long time, give your benefactor a call to thank them instead.”
In this digital age, it is hard to convince younger generations of the merits of writing thank you notes when their whole world revolves around the smart phone. For them even a thank you text or SMS would be pushing it.
It is said that half of today’s 13 to 19 year-olds have never written a thank you letter. Unfortunately, the texting teenager is sealing the fate of the pen. Teenagers should be encouraged to write letters, providing them with a good emotional outlet as well as helping build key life skills like hand writing, spelling and grammar.
Thank you letters mean a lot but really take little effort
To some of us, writing a thank you letter is instinctive – much in the same way as taking flowers or a gift when visiting an elderly relative or someone who is ill in hospital.
Remember that writing to say thank you after receiving a gift, attending parties and other social occasions should be the norm. It is all about having good manners.
And I would go so far as to say that writing an email falls into the same category and, to me, is absolutely acceptable. Keeping a stash of pretty thank you cards, envelopes and stamps ready for all those occasions is not exactly cheap and you need to be super organized – so replacing with emails makes very good sense.
Have you ever thought about sending a thank you after a job interview?
It might just make all the difference to the success of that interview.
Kate Reardon (the editor of Tatler magazine and the epitome of good manners!) wrote that she could count on one hand the number of people who had sent her a thank you letter post-interview. She adds: “And I have given almost all of them a job”.
While the Tatler would definitely appreciate that sort of response to their interviewing strategy, it certainly would do no harm if other job seekers adopted this suggestion too.
I love pen and paper – all the year round
Although I love and use my laptop all the time, I cannot walk away from the old fashioned pen and paper.
- I use a page-a-day diary all the time for lists, appointments and financial budgeting.
- I write up a weekly plan for my work schedule.
- And I am happy to write Christmas cards with their envelopes and extra news to my friends and family every December.
It could be that showing gratitude is even good for our health!