We all knew it was coming. The US Postal Service has been struggling for the last few years to figure out how to keep their jobs in this era of texting, emails, and social media. But they can only shut down so many post offices, and raise the cost of stamps so many times. And now, one of the biggest cuts has been announced: starting on August 5, mail delivery will be cut on Saturdays, and we can only receive packages.
Not completely surprising, but as a lover of letters, I can’t help but feel sad and wistful about this. It’s even more ironic coming from someone who does social media for a living, and finds it hard to be separated from my phone, and doesn’t let a few minutes go by without checking for new emails. I know that with time and technology, the way we communicate with each other must evolve as well, but I guess the art of writing letters or sending a card in the mail will never get old to this 28-year-old.
I got a postcard in the mail just the other day, from my friend Alison. Why? Just because. She knows I love mail, and she knows I’m an old soul in a young body. She just wanted to say she was glad we were friends. I’ll take it. A year ago, I bought handmade paper at a little shop in Rome, planning in my head all of the beautiful missives I would write to the people I love.
I’m the person that pines for a letter like the one Mr. Darcy wrote to Elizabeth to declare his love. I adore that my parents wrote each other a box full of love letters when they were apart for a few months in their short courtship — they were only 29 and 30 years old. I handwrite personal notes to some of our Case Foundation online community members and our peers and partners. Over the years, I have held on to some of my favorite letters and cards from family and friends, for birthdays, milestones, and just because. When I was younger, I became pen pals for years with a woman I met on a plane, and when I moved to a new town in middle school, I remember swapping letters for over a year with my best friend, until we finally drifted apart. And only recently, I used a service called Snail Mail My Email to send a personal note to my friend Julia
The post office may be cutting Saturday mail, but I’m not ready to give up letters just yet. So today, when I saw that Leslie Farnsworth shared my feelings on a dying service, we decided to try something. We want to show people how wonderful receiving mail can be…and how great sending mail can be, too. If social media can be used for good, why not use it to promote one of the most original forms of communication? Letters and postcards have been used to declare war and declare independence, to show devotion and dismissal, to mobilize for action and change, and to express opinions and creativity.
So, we’d like to write you a letter. If you’d like to receive mail from Leslie or me (or both of us!) just let us know. Put your name and mailing address in the comments, or fill out this contact form with your information (don’t worry, your information will not be shared). And to make this really work, we ask one thing of you: if we send you a letter, will you send at least one other person a piece of mail, too?