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Good Question: Are Hand-Written Thank You Notes Extinct?

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With graduation and wedding seasons going strong, many people are giving and receiving gifts.

And, with those gifts, many of us were taught the proper response is a hand-written thank you note.

But, a recent survey found 67 percent of adults think the ability to write a thank you note has died out as texting and emailing has become more popular.

So, that has Stephanie Gustafson of Minneapolis wondering, “Is writing thank you notes becoming a thing of the past?”

“I do believe thank you notes are a lost art,” said Minneapolis etiquette expert Liz Taylor.

She strongly advocates handwriting for personal and business reasons.

“No. 1, it’s personal. No. 2, it makes people feel good. No. 3, it’s an easy way to make a favorable impression,” she said. “But, above and beyond anything, it’s common courtesy.”

The overwhelming majority of people who wrote into WCCO agree.

Amber Lenhoff tweeted, “When I was little, the rule was we had to write the thank-you note before we could play with them. I write them still.”

Temp firm Accountemps did a survey of HR managers and found the most common way they get a thanks for a job interview is email — 62 percent.

Another 23 percent said thank you over the phone. As for a hand-written note, it was 13 percent.

When those same people were asked what is the appropriate way to say thanks, 87 percent said email, 81 percent said phone, 38 percent said hand-written note, 27 percent said social media and 10 percent said text.

Beverly Franklin, a North Minneapolis artist, thought so much of thank-you notes, she started her own line to have people, “ appreciate and think about each other.”

As for children who receive gifts but can’t write yet, Taylor recommends a parent write the note and sign the child’s name. For graduating seniors, she’s adamant that anyone who gives a gift gets a note.

She recommends sending the note 24 hours after receiving a gift.

“It’s a thoughtful three sentences,” she said, “It might take you four minutes to write.”

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