Jim Sollisch's kids tell him they love him—a lot. But they also tell pretty much everyone else the same thing: friends, acquaintances, even people they can barely stand. "To them, 'Love ya' [is] the new 'See ya,'" Sollisch writes in the Wall Street Journal. "Three of the most powerful words in the English language reduced to nothing more than a nod." It wasn't that way for Sollisch, who didn't text his own father every day or keep up with him on Facebook—but found that "the very scarcity of our expressions made each one of them seem more valuable, more real."
The proliferation of cell phones, social networks, and other forms of "constant communication" has cheapened friendships and hindered our ability to have a real conversation, but it has also "degraded love," Sollisch argues. How to combat this? His suggestion: Write a real letter, using an actual pen and paper. "You may find that 'Love ya' looks a little naked against the blank stationery, so say something else. Be specific if possible," he writes. That's what his kids did on his last birthday, and that's how he "knew, beyond a doubt, that they loved me more than they love their 1,100 friends." Click for Sollisch's full column.