Wish you were here – the death of the postcard

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 13th August 2012

From pictures of Tower Bridge at night to images of sun-drenched Provence, the summer holidays are never complete without sending a postcard or two. I love choosing my favourite cards and mailing them to family and friends.

So I was shocked to be sent an O2 press release this morning saying that the age-old tradition of sending holiday postcards is dying out. Apparently only a sixth of us bother with them these days while more than half of youngsters under 24 have never sent one in their lives.

It’s not that we don’t want to keep in touch with loved ones when we’re away. No, apparently the good old-fashioned postcard is being usurped by texting, phoning, Facebook messages and emailing.

When O2 questioned 2,000 people about their reluctance to send postcards, more than a third claimed postcards are too slow. Another third said buying stamps and finding a postbox is too difficult (what a weedy excuse) and nearly one in ten worry about the postman reading their messages (I think they’ve got better things to do!)

Maybe the answer is to combine the best of both worlds and design your own postcards. A company called Cards in the Post lets you upload your own images and messages online, then creates real postcards and mails them out for you. As the company says: “We love the internet. We think it’s great. But you can’t beat receiving a real physical postcard in the post from someone.”

My thoughts exactly.

PS. The postcard above is called A Lemon from Beirut by the artist Chloe Cheese. A friend sent it to me years ago and I love it so much that it’s still propped up in the kitchen.

2 comments so far

  • This was part of my holiday ritual – sitting in the shade at a nice cafe, nursing a frappe and writing postcards. There were some people that I would only write to twice a year (Christmas cards and postcards). And this year I did neither. OK, I have a bit of an excuse for the summer postcards, as I was in a place so remote that it didn’t have any postcards. But why did I send electronic Christmas cards? You are right – it is a dying art, and I vow to do better next time…

  • It’s great to hear that postcards were always part of your holiday ritual too, Marina. But I’m sure you’ve got an excuse if you were somewhere so remote that it didn’t have any. I still love real Christmas cards too – I definitely won’t stop sending them.

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