An open letter to people who write open letters

Dear people who write open letters,

Have you ever noticed how many people just like you are also publishing “open letters” in which they pretend to be writing someone directly just like you do, but the letter is really a gimmick to give a blog post or article some structure just like yours are? In the words of my two-year-old, stop it. Or at least get better at it.

Stop it.

I decided to write this letter to you after seeing An Open Letter To the Three Women Who Were Pointing and Laughing At My Hairy Legs on the Subway. Oh, how the headline made me snarf out loud. Those writers at The Onion, they’re so clever! Then I realized it wasn’t satire, it was sincere. Sadly, sadly sincere. Ugh.

Feeling jilted, and wanting to know how and when this trite “open letter” trend began, I went to Google and did a news search. The Goog threw back 655,000 open letter recommendations at me. Oh, Christ. I’m not going to win this one, am I? Much like the dude who wrote An Open Letter to the Girl Who I Accidentally Swiped Left, it’s a losing battle, and I need to accept that.

But at a minimum, I ask of you, fight with me in solidarity against the growing sludge-surge of open letters that are “sponsored” or “branded” content. While numerous, these headlines quickly give themselves away, such as An Open Letter to the Generation That Will Grow Up With the Sustainable Development Goals.

And if you absolutely insist upon writing an open letter to the entire internet with the threadbare pretense of having an intended recipient, I have one request: Make it funny. When I clicked on An Open Letter to Moms Who Write Open Letters, I expected to laugh.

But no, she’s just telling moms to be nice to each other, which is not how the internet works.

Yours truly,

A fellow open letter writer

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