Paper-based communication is not a lost art; it is still revered for the personal touch of a tangible letter or document. Since the advent of computers and the Internet, paper-based communication has declined. Environmental advocates support this as a way to reduce paper production, but the benefits of paper-based communication are still appreciated by those who see electronic communication as impersonal.
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Sending a letter, thank-you note, newsletter or other publication to someone in paper form adds a personal touch. Receiving a letter rather than an e-mail can touch some people because the sender took the time to either write or type it up and mail it. Paper-based communication gives people the opportunity to hand-write messages, which adds an extra personal layer to communication.
Graphology is the study of handwriting and its linkage to someone's personality. Although no formal studies have proven this, handwriting -- to some people -- indicates a person's level of intelligence and organisation. Before the advent of computers, students had to practice handwriting, using cursive for formal letters and documents.
Tangibility is a benefit of paper-based communications because people like to hold things in their hands rather than read off a screen. Since so much time is spent in front of screens -- on a computer for work, or watching television at home -- people may enjoy holding information in their hands. Additionally, paper-based communication can be saved and sorted in a tangible place and may be considered a memento.
The main drawback of paper-based communication is the environmental effects of cutting down trees to make paper. Environmentalists advise businesses to operate without paper by submitting everything from personal letters to office newsletter electronically. While paper is a renewable resource, it takes a toll on the worldwide tree population.
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