Often, the thud of mail through the front door is met with a sigh. If it isn’t an electricity bill, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime promotion from a discount furniture store or a flyer from the local pizza place. The online world—with its minefield of political fearmongering, spam links and jealousy-inducing vacation photos from acquaintances—doesn’t offer much more. Has the age of meaningful correspondence come to an end? And if so, what have we lost along the way? The digital age has reformed both the way that we correspond and the means through which we can view others’ correspondence. With letters, we are permitted unregulated access into the inner musings and fluctuating emotions of the author. And because of their sentimental sway they are usually lugged from one home to the next, all the great hopes and heartaches of a lifetime collected in a shoebox and stashed under the eaves. Emails, however, are password protected, guarded by This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.