Phil: As you might have noticed a couple of weeks ago, I went away for a few days. While on my hols and apparently “swanning around” I took lots of photographs, some of which I shared on Facebook. However, I also sent several postcards.
Like my friend, I don’t feel that Facebook is a replacement for real cards. In Candice’s case, it’s birthday cards she cares about (and boy I am I glad I sent one this year), with me, it’s postcards. There is something about a physical item travelling all the way across the world that appeals to me. On one side there will be a picture, the other words written by hand by someone who cares.
I like the fact that the sender has taken time to choose a suitable card from the rack a process I enjoy myself. For example, in the case of someone with a daughter called Erin, I managed to find a couple of cards from Port Erin as this seemed appropriate. That’s rather more appealing than the pictures of kippers my Mum gets but then she likes the horrid, smelly things.
It probably sounds stupid, but I also like the idea that for the price of a stamp, I am going to send this bit of cardboard on an adventure. In my mind I picture it passing through all the stages of the postal process from collection in the box to sorting and delivery. Along the way there will be trips in vans, planes, ships and even bicycles. All this to put the card in a specific letterbox and be picked up by someone on the other side.
There’s also the effort required to buy stamps, write the card (an ideal job for the poolside or in a cafe with tea and cake), remembering the address (I sent a card to the friends next door neighbour by getting the house number wrong. Oops) and getting the thing down to the post box. It all matters to the recipient and gives them a warm feeling – and possibly a laugh depending on the words or pictures.
I know people say that a text message is OK and a good deal quicker. It’s also true that the sender might make it home before the card but then they won’t come through the letter box and brighten up a morning.