Death to the Postcard

It should come as no surprise that today’s social networking sites have been the kiss of death for snail mail. And this includes postcards. While people the world over used to send postcards to loved ones while they were vacationing in exotic locations – today they can simply instant message or post pictures on Facebook and other sites.

Researchers with Mintel looking at the issue in the UK found that, while about 33% of travelers used to send postcards from a vacation spot, today only 3% do so.  As Analyst Alexandra Richmond said,

“Younger Britons may never have experienced the joy of receiving a postcard in the age of social media and many others may have forgotten the sensory experience a writing set gives the sender. We’re traveling more and we’re also more connected than ever before.”

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The postcard began in 1840 with a hand-painted design that was posted in London to writer Theodore Hook. The first postcard in the United States was postmarked in December of 1848 and it included a printed advertisement on it.  Certainly, the lengthy history of the postcard and its vast popularity can be well documented and cherished – but it’s definitely a thing of the past at this point, relegated to memory books with stamps, stationery and the written letter.