Letters: A New Way of Communicating

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Jaqueline Pasillas

Instead of texting, Grant Santos sent letters to his friends. Pictured here is Jaqueline Pasillas’s letter he got from Grant Santos. Pasillas says it is kept safe in a box so she can reread them when she wants to.

Angelica Baclig, Journalist

When most people think about communicating, Gen Z generally thinks of texting. According to Pew Research Center 55% of teens text message their friends daily compared to 25% of teens who actually talk to their friends in person daily. That number may have changed drastically now that everyone is undergoing the safety precautions taken in this pandemic- WAY more texting than talking in person. But who said that there aren’t any other ways to communicate during this pandemic? 

As technology gets more advanced, handwritten letters may be something that are rare to see. Something that you can bargain physically has now changed into something that you can screenshot on a phone and save into a camera gallery. Fast text messages have changed a lot about communication with “slow mail” slowly disappearing.

This is not the case for sophomore Grant Santos. Ever since the pandemic shutting down school, Santos was eager to find another way to communicate with his friends. He is not fond of using his phone for hours a day, so he decided to write letters. He jokingly adds that he wrote the letters just in case he or his friends get affected by the virus and never see each other again. “Receiving a letter [in my opinion] is way more valuable and special than opening a phone and seeing words on it.” Santos explains that he sent 1 letter to each of his friends; a total of 15 letters at most. 

Santos went about getting his friends addresses and then writing every letter with a personal touch. After writing multiple letters, he put them into his mailbox and off they went; slower than an email or a text message but something you know that is irreplaceable. Sophomore Jaqueline Pasillas is one of many that received a letter from Santos, who has been friends with him since 7th grade.

Pasillas details that she got 2 letters from Santos; one at the start of quarantine and one for her birthday. Pasillas remarks, “I felt really happy receiving the letters from him [Santos]. There’s just something about someone writing you a letter.” She adds that she keeps Santos’s letters in a box for safekeeping and enjoys rereading them. 

Sophomore Porscha Guerrero is another one of Santos’s friends that received letters. Guerrero states “I got a letter at the beginning of quarantine and during the holidays. And although I get letters often from family members, I was still so excited and happy to receive one from him.” Guerrero explains that Santos wished her a happy holiday and wished her well throughout the letters. When asked if she wrote back, she remarks that she didn’t but adds that she should’ve done so. 

The letter sophomore Seth Sarratt was not like Pasillas or Guerrero’s. The letter Santos sent was a way to get him and Sarratt to reunite again. Taking into consideration that they both have known each other since 1st grade shows the fact that the two are inseparable. Sarratt only got his first letter a few weeks ago, he states. And unlike Pasillas or Guerrero, Sarratt wrote back to Santos. 

Sarratt states, “When I got his letter, I was confused at first because I was not expecting anything. I then read it and thought it was cool, so I sent one back. I added in the letter that he and I should hang out one time to catch up.” Later on, the two met with each other after months. Although it was just books that they went to go pick up at school, Sarratt explains that it was still very enjoyable. He adds that sending letters was something Santos would do because he was a loving friend. 

Just like scrunchies and baggy jeans, sending letters might come back again. Something that may be “old-fashioned” can always be brought to life. And one of those things can be letters.