Josephine Crucillo, "Sliding Into Your Mailbox: A Project on Letter Writing and Communication Technologies"

Inspired by this time of social distancing where we are heavily reliant on technology to communicate and do our daily work, I wanted to further investigate how our relationship with technology as a form of communication has evolved compared to other mediums like letter writing. In order to do this, I asked pairs of participants to engage in 2-3 different forms of communication mediums, one of which is required to be biweekly letter writing. The other forms of communication may include social media, email, telephone, video calling, etc. Through 2 surveys given at the beginning of letter writing and the end of letter writing, I collected data about the interaction in each medium and how each participant feels when using different mediums. After the experiment, I found that the participants did not have significant changes in their screen time or use of communication technologies but their interactions in the letters felt more intimate and the topics discussed varied through different mediums. A majority of participants also stated that they valued quick responses, while being able to see and hear their partner came second. Additionally, I promoted this project online with a gallery of the participants' letters in addition to my findings to inspire others to also reflect on their communication interactions.