Demise of Snailmail?

‘What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand clasp’ ~ Unknown.

This links in with my last post….

Snail mail being eclipsed by the dominance of e-communications and the art of letter writing dying a death. Maybe I’m hopelessly nostalgic but I do love leafing through old cards, notes and letters, each carrying its own character right through from the stories and sentiments they hold down to the cursive handwriting. It’s sad the exciting aspect of receiving mail is slowly fading in the modern world, I miss eagerly awaiting the international envelope proclaiming ‘Par Avion Air Mail’ from my childhood penpals.

The importance of letter correspondence has been lost in a maze of disposable emails, faceless phone calls and convenient social networking. These all have their place in our world now – we’re in real-time sync with our friends no matter where they are, they’ve revolutionised the way we stay in touch, we’re more connected than ever before – but they still lack the charm and power of the written word. I embrace new technology, but maybe you’re thinking with my mindset I was simply born in the wrong era. I do love emails but I take time to reply to them because I don’t want to fire off a few lines without a little thought going into it so they do breed and multiply out of my control. Jen of the Penpal Project wrote a post that echoes this feeling exactly, especially the feeling of being ‘connected but disconnected at once’.

Recently Julie (blog friends are great!) pointed me in the direction of:

Postcards Exchange

Awesome, something to revive people’s forgotten passion for pen meets paper. Sending and receiving a postcard to/from a mystery country or a far-flung corner of the planet, well the idea intrigued me to say the least and Julie recommended it to keep me busy/stop going insane so sign me up! As a member of the postcrossing community you can also do direct swaps if you’re after a particular country or area to add to your collection. China and Lithuania were the first two countries I was assigned. I found two VERY English postcards of Bourne – Tudor cottages, a Dickens-esque town centre and churches brimming with history, and proceeded to tell each stranger what I loved about the place I had grown up in before going to University and hoped they enjoyed this little taste of England.

Projects like this are needed in a land of status updates and 140 characters Tweets. Interpals has revived penpalling, encouraging a whole new generation to step away from the screen and send letters, doodles, bookmarks and stickers, Interpals found me my  first (German) penfriend when I was 14. When I get settled in Canada maybe I’ll get back on the penpal wagon and find a few long-term letter friends that don’t vanish into mist. My mailbox needs some sunshine and smiles.

Dear Postcrossing,

I’m looking forward to exercising my new Canadian apartment address and holding a little piece of somewhere else in the world that has traveled across the miles to find itself in my hands.

Kind regards,




Filed under Life, Musings and Aphorisms

3 responses to “Demise of Snailmail?

  1. Julie

    oh wow, you got Lithuania!
    Maybe I’ll do a direct swap with you. I got a three postcards when I was in LA–two were of the LA skyline and one was somewhere where I thought “this is still in Cali?” It turned out to be the Lone Cypress which I never heard about. I sent the postcards of the LA skylines to China and France but I still held the Lone Cypress card for some reason–maybe I’ll send that one to you!

  2. Thank you so much for pointing me in the direction of Postcrossing. It’s pretty addictive – finding great postcards, having a guess as to where you’ll have to send the postcard whilst the address gets generated from the site and then writing and sending the smile on.

    I would love to do a direct swap with you 😀 Let me know your address.
    I would love a little piece of LA on my desk! There are so many beautiful landscape postcards in Calgary it’s hard to know which one to send!

    Has your card to China arrived yet? Mine is still traveling and it’s been just under 2 weeks so far.

    I have 5/5 traveling at the moment:
    China, Lithuania (again, what are the chances), North Carolina USA, New Zealand (!) and Germany. Also doing a direct swap with Lithuania.

    Too much fun! xxxx

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