In this age of digital communication, from email and facebook to skyping home in the blink of a second, has the age old tradition of sending a cheesy postcard become obsolete?
I adore receiving postcards, sticking them to the side of my wardrobe or wall to dream of places visited or places yet to go to. I love sifting through all my old ones, as they help to jog my memory about friends past and present. Finding a dusty postcard sent from some back-arse-of-nowhere town in the middle of Ireland, from a friend who was probably just driving through on her way back to boarding school are always the best ones.
As much as I love receiving and collecting postcards, when it comes to sending them myself from my travels, to say I have been lacking would be a huge understatement.
While on vacation on the heavenly island of Boracay in the Philippines I could not help but buy a stack of stunning postcards to send home to friends and family. I wanted to let them know I was thinking of them and, of course, make them green with envy at the life I was living! Sure I bought them, and a few weeks later I wrote them (very clever and witty so they were), but you bet your money that they are still sitting at the bottom of my backpack (6 weeks later!!) and will sadly probably never see the light of day!
While I could make this post about a much deeper issue, one in which the written word itself is in decline, (with newspaper sales falling progressively and even the closure of post offices worldwide thanks to the increase in email and internet banking), however I would like to stay on point and simply look at the beloved postcard!
So now that everyone, no matter where in the world we are, from the deserts of Africa to the mountains of Machu Picchu, can easily access the internet to mail home or even skype their loved ones, is there really any NEED to send postcards?
Nowadays the stamp is as, if not more, expensive than the postcard itself. And while picking up a handful of cards is easy, attempting to find a shop that sells stamps and a post office near the beach, or hiking trail or lake you are visiting may be a lot more challenging!
Do you appreciate a silly postcard full of cliched small talk about the weather is “simply beautiful” and how the place is “amazingly peaceful” and how your friend is having the “best time ever” blah blah blah…or would you appreciate an email, that will probably be a little juicier thanks to it’s more private nature and probably go into more detail as the sender does not have to squash all that they wish to tell you onto a tiny, crappy, rectangular piece of card?!
Or perhaps you would prefer to have quick chat with them over skype, see them face to face, laugh at their sunburn or their frizzy hair thanks to the awful humidity which you would never hear about it a postcard.
Even a txt message might be better, as you almost feel with the person as your phone beeps and up pops the message, “Lying here on the beach watching the sunset while sipping a pina colada out of a coconut, listening to some local rasta strum along a Bob Marley song…thinking of you”. Sure you’d be jealous but happy to know your buddy i=thinks so much of you that they interrupt such an idyllic moment to send you a message!
So I wonder, has the postcard become obsolete?! Or will the shiny little card with the often atrocious captions or ridiculous pictures (as displayed on this site HERE) always have a place in our hearts?!