Thought leader

Postcards: Dead or alive?


Sarah/Via Flickr

Do you still send postcards when you travel abroad? We do.

On our first day of sightseeing in Paris in February, we went straight to the Eiffel Tower and immediately bought postcards. While
my daughter and I went to the top, my wife mailed them from the Eiffel Tower’s own post office on the first level.

The postcards told family and friends what a great time we were having in Paris—even though we just got there. Why do we do that? With email and cell phones and the Internet, there are much more efficient ways to communicate. In fact, we even called some of the same people we sent postcards to. Still, there’s something special—maybe old-fashioned—about sending postcards.

With a pair of posts (here and here), World Hum brought our attention to two articles debating the future of postcards. Are we facing the last days of the postcard or a postcard renaissance?

The San Francisco Chronicle ponders the postcard in peril, suggesting that “the postcard,
that cheap and venerable souvenir for the last 120 years, is slowly but
inexorably fading from the scene.”  

“Blame it on the surging popularity of digital photos, text messages
and those 5,000-word dispatches e-mailed to weary friends and family
from Internet cafes the world over.”

However, rumors of the postcard’s demise may be greatly exaggerated. Just last week, Toronto’s Globe and Mail claims that postcards are making a comeback, citing the Greeting Card Association’s assertion that electronic communication is actually bolstering the postcard industry. In some places, sales of postcards are on the rise.

“The Internet, after all, has allowed people to develop more
relationships—relationships that must be maintained. And is the lack
of privacy involved in writing and mailing a postcard all that strange
in a world accustomed to putting its thoughts out there for all the
world to see—on blogs, cc’d e-mails and Facebook?” 

Now I don’t feel that old-fashioned about mailing those postcards from the Eiffel Tower.

What do you think? Do you still send postcards? Do you ever receive them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Topics: Thought leader

Katie from EF

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