Growing up I remember waiting with anticipation for birthday cards and other sentiments to arrive in my mailbox from family and friends across the country. It was and to this day remains a great feeling to know that someone cared enough to send me a personal note via the United States Postal Service. Nowadays with email being so fast and free some of that personal touch is gone and it really is a shame. Given the speed of email versus the slower delivery times of USPS mail, sending a letter or card via the USPS has now commonly been referred to as sending “Snail” mail (slow to deliver). Well for some of us it still has a special meaning so I prepared this short list of 10 reasons to still use snail mail:
- It’s exciting to receive a personal letter or note. Whether it’s a love note passed in class under your desk or a carefully written letter from a loved one, reading a personal letter or note has always been exciting and feels special in direct proportion to the effort the sender went through to get it to you.
- You can add confetti or creative designs to your letter or card. This again points out the time and effort that can be relayed by snail mail much more easily. For birthdays and other special events I like to fill the envelope with stars or confetti so if you get a letter from me be prepared for a surprise inside!
- There’s more privacy to snail mail. Unlike with email it is much less likely that a letter or communication sent via postal mail will get intercepted and read by another party. It’s possible but unlikely and the recipient can generally tell of the letter has been opened.
- Emails can get lost in junk mail filters. While it’s possible that a letter sent via snail mail can get lost in shipping it happens far less than emails getting lost in the abyss that is the modern day junk mail filter.
- Emails are prone to quicker judgments and rash decisions. It’s so easy to send an email that we can write something in haste and send it before we actually take enough time to think it through. That is generally not the case with postal mail unless you work in a post office and have direct access.
- You can send more variety of items via snail mail. Sort of like my confetti trick above you can also add pictures or other personal touches to a snail mail all the way up to complete packages, boxes, etc. So far we haven’t found a way to transport something like that through our computers.
- People tend to elaborate more with snail mail. In general, people drop the abbreviations when they are handwriting a letter so instead of (LOL, ROFL, OMG, etc.) people tend to actually write out their words and thoughts. If nothing else, sometimes it’s just good to know that you can still do that.
- There’s no virus attached. Generally speaking there are no viruses attached to a snail mail that you can catch on accident by previewing the snail mail before opening it. I’m not saying that someone couldn’t send a virus via snail mail it’s just far, far less likely.
- It’s too easy to forward your email content to thousands of people worldwide (on accident). With a few clicks of the button, you can send it to everyone on your list, which is dangerous if the content is important. Unfortunately there is no undo button for sending email in most cases so you are stuck with the consequences of your actions.
- The check is in the mail… yes it still works. One of the most important reasons to use snail mail is for cash management purposes if you need to pay a bill but have a couple of days until you are going to get paid or have the money, then snail mail is much more effective for you that online bill payment. You can simply call the provider/vendor and let them know “the check is in the mail”.
So these aren’t the only reasons but they are some good one’s. An honorable mention that didn’t make the list is the excuse that you can always use for a greeting being late (birthday card, graduation card, etc.). You can say you had trouble getting to the post office or that your letter was lost in the mail, but be careful with that one though as most people are smart enough to look at the postmark date.