(StatePoint) When it comes to season’s greetings and giving thanks, sending a traditional letter or holiday card doesn’t have to be the only way to do it.
In fact, you can show you care just as impactfully by sending a simple text.
New research from The Journal of Positive Psychology shows that expressing gratitude via text message is nearly as impactful as a face-to-face thank you. Sending a text might be even more effective for expressing your appreciation when you feel embarrassed or awkward about thanking someone in person. Also, research shows that sending that simple text message can help us feel more connected to loved ones and boost feelings of well-being.
Recent data from T-Mobile suggests many of us may already be performing acts of smartphone kindness. As more people turn to texts for the holidays, T-Mobile found a 20% increase in texting during the Christmas holiday and a 5% increase at New Year’s. Expectations are that those numbers will only increase this year.
If sending holiday notes via snail mail sounds daunting, don’t let pen and paper stand in your way of making someone else, and yourself feel appreciated. Your best recipe for holiday success could simply be to send a thank you text.
However, if you are someone who prefers something more tactile than a text, you can still use your smartphone to send season’s greetings and gratitude with a handwritten note via services like Handwrytten and Postable. Simply type your message and the receiver’s address, and the apps will generate a handwritten letter or holiday card and take care of mailing it for you.
And if you’re ever unsure of when it’s appropriate to communicate over text, digital etiquette expert Elaine Swann’s advice can steer you in the right direction:
When sharing logistics: For information, like addresses or event arrival and departure details, texting is the easiest and most accurate way to receive the information needed, especially for guests coming into town for the holidays.
When asking for requests and favors: Sending a simple request, such as asking a loved one to pick up a forgotten item for Christmas dinner, is an acceptable thing to do.
When you can’t talk: Sending a text message letting the person know you’ll return their call when you have a free moment is perfectly acceptable.
With these tools in your back pocket, you won’t have to hesitate before using your smartphone to spread cheer to loved ones near and far this holiday season.