When you were a kid did you have Pen Pals? I had many, all through my teens especially. We didn’t have the internet to find people that had the same interests though, so you would have to search the backs of your favorite teen or music magazines to find other people that also wanted to write. Back then we also did not call it snail mail, it was simply mail. For this post, I will refer to it as snail mail. We had two forms of long-distance communication. One was the telephone, but you had long distance fees and the second being snail mail.
Snail Mail Communities
A few months ago I was craving that old excitement of getting a letter in the mail. I wished that pen pals were still a thing, so I did a quick search online. Sure enough and much to my surprise, it is a huge community. There are websites, Facebook groups, Instagram hashtags to follow and even blogs where you can search for snail mail pals. I decided to start my own group on facebook called Check the Mail, please feel free to come and join us if you are serious about wanting to write letters. It is super small at the moment, but I expect it to grow pretty quickly as I spend more time on it this coming year.
I was so excited! There are a lot of hits and misses. Some people are flakey, but there are many that really just wanted that same connection I was craving. Something away from the craziness we get on the internet social media platforms. People from all over the world that just want to get that excitement of a letter in the mailbox, the snail mail. Yes, the mail can be slow, but how exciting to open up your mailbox and see a stack of letters!
Snail Mail Gives You a Boost of Happiness
Getting snail mail has been a huge happy boost when I am in my lowest depressive states. My penpals send me pretty cards, fun stickers, washi tape sample, homemade envelopes that they have decorated and are almost too pretty for me to open!
I have found a ton of very crafty and creative people. One snail mail pal from across the pond even sent me a crocheted hedgehog because she knew about our hedgehog, Mad Max.
You can even sign up to be a part of swaps and wishes, but really I am in it for the letters. I quit drawing and writing by hand several years back because of my illnesses. Writing with my right hand and the fact that my conditions affect that side the worst was very hindering. I had to even give up my job as a tattoo artist and body piercer. I used to draw and paint all of the time. But now I am working on desensitizing and building up a tolerance. I’ve also been trying to build up strength and control, writing helps that.
Places to Find Snail Mail Pals
There are many groups on Facebook, however, there are also many slackers and scammers. I think the new small group that I linked above would be a great place to start. On Instagram, some of my favorite hashtags to follow are #PenPalsWanted #PenPalsAroundTheWorld #SnailMailRevolution #WriteMoreLetters and many more. As for websites, I found Global Pen Friends. I had some great luck finding a snail mail pal for my youngest on here.
The Benefit of Snail Mail for Kids
We are what you would call unschoolers. So we have time to explore all of the things that interest us. For my youngest daughter Emma, that is currently all things snakes and reptiles. Of course, that makes her very interested in Australia. What would be better than a pen pal from Australia?
Emma currently has two pen pals from Australia and it has been so awesome to watch her excitement. She loves getting mail, exchanging stickers and facts with her new friends. She is learning about another country, is practicing the art of letter writing, and also working on spelling. The exchange of snail mail for kids is highly beneficial and educational!
Our middle daughter Lauren is still without a pen pal. Sadly the two she wrote never followed through. If you know a young teen preferably from Korea that loves K-Pop and art, please let me know. These are the things that Lauren is into the most right now. At this point, I think I need to find someone to write her first since she was burned twice and was very disappointed.
Snail Mail for the Chronically Ill
If you are chronically ill, homebound, depressed, mentally ill, then old-fashioned snail mail may be a huge help for your mood. I know for me it has been such a boost! It also sparked my creativity again which I desperately needed. Don’t let the beautiful Instagram photos keep you from writing, I can promise you that my letters are not all that extravagant and I focus more on it being legible ha! At first, I put off writing because I wanted everything to be perfect, guess how well that went? I had to let that idea of perfection go and I am much happier because of it.
You only need a pen, paper, envelopes, and stamps. If you feel creative, then get creative, but it is not necessary. Creativity is good for you though and helps keep that brain of yours fired up. Start today! Send someone even a simple card just to let them know you are thinking of them. We all know someone that could use a pick me up! Or comment below and let me know you want to connect and I will send you a letter, card or postcard to get you started.