Death of the postcard

This morning on BBC Breakfast they were briefly discussing the idea that no-body sends postcards anymore; that people prefer to use electronic media instead – updates on facebook, e-postcards using their own digital photos etc.  Postcards were outdated, unreliable – and who could be bothered to write them?  [See also: ]

Well, I’m an oldfashioned gal at heart, and I do still send postcards.  Although admittedly on honeymoon earlier in the year my husband was posting updates on facebook throughout the week – letting our friends share the experience, informing them how I couldn’t walk for a couple of days (a trapped sciatic nerve!); showcasing our delight in icecream (I normally avoid dairy so this was a big treat – Irn Bru flavour was my favourite, he preferred the Newcastle Brown Ale flavour!), and puzzling them with the array of picnic tables we discovered (we’re not really that weird/nerdy it all related back to a surreal conversation we’d had with some friends).  It brought the week alive for them in the way that a static postcard probably wouldn’t.  But I did still send a couple.

I used to write letters to friends, then most of the letters became emails, and now I use facebook – which is not to say that I don’t still write some letters to some people, but even my way of communicating with people has changed over the years.  A hundred years ago, this would have been a diary – now its a blog.

What worries me about the potential ‘death of the postcard’ is that we are gradually losing our written ephemera, with so much online/e-only these days are we creating a problem for future historians and archivists?  Is there going to be a black hole or gaping chasm in social history from now on?  Or are we just decluttering the future?


1 Comment

Filed under Social history

One response to “Death of the postcard

  1. I saw that this morning as well! I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s still crazy enough to send postcards in this day and age! Hopefully someone will preserve the history that’s on the web somehow. It would be a pity to lose all the information that’s no longer written down.

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