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  • Writer's pictureBeth

3 Times When You Should Never Send a Thank You Text

Long gone are the days of handwriting a note, carefully folding it over onto itself 437 times and flicking it to your BFF like a tiny, college-ruled football. Today, dropping a line to someone has never been easier. It’s not always the best way to convey your gratitude, though. Here are three situations where handwritten thank you notes are a far better idea than thank you texts, tweets or DMs.

1. Virtually Any Party Where People Bring You or Your Kid(s) Gifts

If you or the party planner invite people to your home, favorite brunch spot or local paintball range to celebrate any of the following events and those people bring gifts, you should send them each a handwritten thank you note:

  • Your birthday

  • You kid’s birthday

  • Your anniversary

  • Your graduation

  • Your bridal shower

  • Your baby shower

  • Your housewarming party

It’s worth noting that if you receive a gift to say thanks for hosting an event or for being part of it in some way, such as being a member of the bridal party, a verbal “Thank you” is good enough.

2. If Someone Had Your Back When You or a Loved One Were Sick

Being sick sucks. Taking care of a loved one who’s ill isn’t exactly a picnic either. After you’ve recovered, consider sending handwritten thank you notes to those people who made your recent illness or hospital stay more manageable via their daily check-ins, casserole drop-offs, errand running and help around the house.

Dear Diane, Thanks for filling in for Maw-Maw in her all-grandma Devo tribute band...

If it feels awkward or overly corny to send your elderly mother’s neighbor a handwritten note to say thanks for shoveling her driveway while she was in the hospital, opt for a funny thank you card instead of a flowery one.

3. When Somebody Gives You a Gift That You Can’t Open in Front of Them

It doesn’t matter if it’s that new area rug on your Amazon wish list or an ill-fitting homemade sweater, if somebody sends you a gift and they can’t be there with you when you open it, you should send them a hand-written thank you card after you tear into that present.

What about Zoom? As video conferencing software becomes ubiquitous, grandparents around the world are dropping in on more birthday celebrations than ever before. If your mother-in-law watches your twins open their birthday gifts live on her laptop, you don’t need to send her a hand-written thank you note. Just make sure those two little monsters thank her live on the call.

Thank you notes may be old school, but that’s part of their charm. A handwritten card or note not only says, “Hey, Steve! Thanks so much for the barbecue tongs. They’re going to take my bratwurst game to a whole new level!” but also “No dashed-off text sent from a red light is good enough for you, Steve. No, for you, good sir, I will not only select a unique greeting card, but I will also take as many as 10 whole minutes to sit down and think of something to write in it with mine very own-eth hand. Steven! You are the man.”

I’m paraphrasing here, of course, but you get it: Before you send that thank you text, think about what going analog with your gratitude might convey instead.

Have you ever gotten a "Thank You" text? Think I'm old-fashioned and/or totally off-base? Sound off in the comments down below!

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