OK. Sometimes writing is better than speaking, especially for quick updates. In old novels like Anna Karenina and Tale of Genji, many of the characters communicate by passing notes via servants who then hand deliver them.

Here’s how they did it in Anna Karenina:

“Countess Lidia Ivanovna usually wrote some two or three letters a day to Alexey Alexandrovitch. She enjoyed that form of communication, which gave opportunity for a refinement and air of mystery not afforded by their personal interviews.”

Oooh la la. How many of us now write two or three letters a day to appear refined and mysterious? And I don’t think email counts…

“She went up to the table, wrote to her husband, ‘I have received your letter. –A.’; and, ringing the bell, gave it to the footman.”

I love it. It’s so simple and quick, yet personal. And a subtle way of saying “f u”.

“The commissionaire who took the letter had brought her back the most cruel and unexpected answer, that there was no answer.”

Again, love it. It’s like sending an email with a receipt or tracking who opens your messages but there being a respond option that is “no response.”

But for longer, more in depth exchanges, voice is still great. It’s two-way, brings in tone unlike the way writing does (especially when the writing is typed, as in a tweet or email). So, chose when you use each. And maybe you want to hand write a few notes once in a while.

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