Monday, September 17, 2012

Mail Musings

Yesterday one of my expired Postcrossing postcards finally reached its destination (Russia), 134 days later! It makes me wonder how long it used to take for letters to go halfway around the world, before the days of jet airplanes and computer scanners and all of those great things. People talk about 'snail mail' like it's soooo slow, but it's all a matter of perspective, don't you think? 

I like that snail mail helps me slow life down in a world of instant everything. (Hungry? Instant dinner! Bored? Instant entertainment!) I like the convenience of technology as much as the next person (I'm writing this on my iPad after all) but it feels like we've lost sight of just how fortunate to have all of these things people used to work so hard for and wait patiently for. Even our snail mail :)

Hopefully this doesn't sound too preachy! Just my random thoughts on a Monday morning.

Have a great week!



  1. I like your Monday morning thoughts!

    A friend recently shared that between the time she spends blogging and on Facebook, she's become so accustomed to nearly instant feedback that it makes her very antsy to turn in a piece of writing for revision and have to wait for a response. I understand what she means.

    Technology has an incredible ability to shift perspective in a short period of time, but I remain impressed with how quickly most snail mail reaches its destination. When I visited the National Postal Museum a few months ago, there was a great display board showing how the speed of mail has changed over the years. In 1850, the average speed of a letter traveling through the USPS was 5 MPH. By 1990, it had reached 580 MPH!

    1. I really need to go to the National Postal Museum. That's over 100x faster!! crazy.

  2. Ia m frequently looking for some ways of slowing down life, although I like to be busy all the time. It's nice to be busy with something that calms you down, like snail mail does.

    Some people are so used to the internet that they even forget about how long a letter takes to reach another country. I'd sent a letter to my friend in Taiwan telling her it was summer in Brazil. She received it several months later and said "it's summer in here too!", like she didn't realize the date my letter was written. I guess that's a good feeling too, to wonder that the person on the letter is talking to you right now, instead of several weeks ago.

    Anyway, long comment, I just was too distracted thinking about your post. :)

  3. I share your desire to slow down in life - it makes for a saner head i think.

    about doing all writing and comms through instant means like laptops, internet and phones - when I moved to London in 2001 I wrote a lot of long letters home to my family and friends; then i got an email address and from then on the letters ceased to none sent at all.

    my mum and sister still have those early London letters and whenever I visit we pull them out and have a reminisce&laugh...the emails I idea how to retrieve ones from 10+ years ago.

    and my nice handwriting I used to have? it become scraggly and impatient...

    bring back letters and postcards, it's good for everyone! :)