Most Americans haven’t hand-written and sent a personal letter in over 5 years

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A student writes a letter during art class at the Xavier Academy on August 23, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — When was the last time you put pen to paper to write a personal letter?

According to a CBS News survey, 37% of adults polled in the U.S. said it’s been over five years since they’ve written and sent a personal letter through the mail, and just under a third said they’ve written one within the past 12 months. 

Another 15% of the 1,717 adults surveyed have never written and sent a personal letter — ever. 

When asked about receiving personal letters, half of the respondents said they haven’t received one in the past five years, and 14% haven’t ever received one.

It probably should come as no surprise that Americans who have recently written and sent a personal letter are more likely to have gotten one in return.

So, have older Americans held onto the practice of letter writing?

The answer is apparently no more than young people since just half of Americans age 65 and up have written a letter in the past five years, the same proportion as younger adults.

With that said, nearly all respondents 65 and older have written a personal letter sometime throughout their lives, while more than 1 in 5 adults under age 45 have never written a personal letter.

Men are less likely than women to have recently written a personal letter. A third of women have written at least one in the past year, and most have done so over the past five years. Six in 10 men have not at all.

According to marthastewart.com, letter writing has become “nothing more than a lost art” thanks to email and texts. The site makes a case for reviving letter writing, saying it can provide a personal touch lost in a world of technology.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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