Very few people still write love letters - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Very few people still write love letters

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New research which shows just six percent of women and four percent of men still like love letters. For everyone else? Text messages, tweets and facebook.

Diane and John Scripps have been married forty-seven years. During their courtship, Diane attended Samford. While John went off to Georgia tech.While he was away from his "honey" .. He looked forward to seeing the postman stop at his mailbox.

"I wrote at least once a week, at least. Sometimes more. And I tried to reply between classes and studying over there," said the Scripps.

Diane says she still has many of those letters.

"Of course we missed each other and we signed it with a kiss and a bunch of x's and o's,"said John.

Research shows the Scripps are a rare find these days. Just nine percent of people have ever written a love letter. And most are over 50 years old. The culprit? Technology.

"It's pathetic. It's just pathetic," said Diane.

Two-thirds of people prefer to send their love via text. 24 percent would rather send an email. And 14 percent express their love on social media.

Birmingham librarian Haruyo Miyagawa says some of the most famous love stories have been documented in love letters that people can now read and "borrow" from. For instance, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, who grew up  in Montgomery, Alabama. Or the passionate relationship between Mexican singer Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Miyagawa says love letters have a romanticism that is missing in texts and emails. But UAB psychology professor Christopher Robinson says texting and tweeting isn't all bad.

Rather, it depends on a couple's preference.  

"Does it have to be pen and paper? if your partner wants it. That would have to be the real answer," said Robinson.

He says there are pros and cons to both methods.

"There's a lot of research that says writing things down makes one more committed to the path that one has taken. There are certainly a lot of pros and I remember getting letters a kid. But there's also a con to that because you miss some of the immediacy that you can get with a text or facebook comment," he said.

As for the Scripps, the foundation holding up their forty-seven year marriage is made partially of ink and paper.

"And now five children and seven and two-thirds grandchildren later I guess it worked," said Scripps.

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