For many generations (including our own), thank you notes simply went hand-in-hand with birthdays and holidays. Many of us recall our parents sitting us down at the kitchen table, notecards and pencils in hand. There would be no going outside to play until we finished that final note to Aunt Susie to thank her for her the very thoughtful socks and underwear. There was simply no way around it. Because, as Mom and Dad would say, it was the “right” thing to do. We say thank you when someone gives us a gift. Right? Well, of course.
So, it came as somewhat of a surprise to us to learn that a recent Snapfish survey showed that a staggering 81% of Millennials don’t expect thank you notes, believing them to be an outdated and unnecessary task. In fact, the majority of Generation X and Baby Boomers (!) surveyed also agreed, with just 22% and 36% expecting to receive a note after giving.
Further adding to the demise of the hand-written note, of a meager 25% who believed that thank you notes weren’t outdated, just 11% of those believed that every gift deserved a thank you note. And (oh boy, my mother would have really disliked this one), 14% felt that an emailed thank you would suffice.
We found these numbers to be shocking. Do you?
Are manners dead? Are we at the point where our minds are so over-stimulated that it’s ok to simply move on after a gift has been given to us? Have we become a society so engrossed in our online lives that we can no longer be bothered to put pen to paper?
There are many times in which we look back on our own childhood and believe that, more times than not, mother knew best. This is certainly one of those times.
So, our kids will continue to sit down at the kitchen counter and diligently write their thank you notes. And, most likely, they will also roll their eyes and whine about it a little. With any luck, they’ll do the same with their own children someday.