I stumbled upon this wonderful article last night from National Geographic about the future of the postcard. With the demand for snail mail decreasing constantly with the rise of technology, it makes you wonder if we’ll even have postcards in a few years! Yes technology is a wonderful thing in that it makes staying in touch with friends and family around the world as easy as a few keystrokes, but it does take out a bit of the humanity in communication. As an old supervisor of mine said, “Likes mean nothing nowadays, if someone comments THEN they actually care about your post.”
Yes it may be easier to upload a photo to Facebook and tag someone in it, but to me there’s more meaning behind a postcard. For me, the postcard was – and still is – a way to send souvenirs home to friends and family. They’re a cheap and easy keepsake, and they don’t take up much room. It’s the thought that counts, and the fact that someone who’s travelling that took the time out of their day to think of you and write a personal note to you while on the road really resonates with me. When I write them, it’s because I want to share my thoughts and feelings in that atmosphere in that specific moment of time. All of my friends and family can’t be with me in that exact moment, so why not send a piece of it to them instead?
All throughout my big EuroTrip in 2012 I sent a postcard to my family each time I changed countries, and I sent a postcard to a different friend in the order they sent me their home addresses. This past September when I drove all the way to Newfoundland I sent a postcard to friends and family from every province I hit – even Labrador! In Alberta I sent beautiful postcards of the Rocky Mountains to friends and family. Any time in my life that I experience a new city or country I send a postcard to share my good fortune. I’m very lucky in that I get to see so much of the world while many others can’t, so I try to bring some of the world back to them.
In summary, I’ll keep sending postcards until the day I die! Even if I have to design them myself! The perks of being a graphic designer – I can do that!
Anyways, check out Amy Alipio’s wonderful article and be a part of the postcard project! You might be featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine, which is incentive enough. I’m already trying to decide what I should send in!