Why does no one send postcards any more?

Despite knowing countless people flying around the world, not once have I received a postcard in recent years

<p>I think the last postcard I got was when my nan went on a cruise more than a decade ago </p>

I think the last postcard I got was when my nan went on a cruise more than a decade ago

Heading back to my old hometown for a day trip last week, I was armed with two books of first-class stamps because I knew I’d want to send a few postcards to friends. Eastbourne is a gorgeous place with a golden pier, blue waters and a stunning pebbled beach, and I was dying to write to some loved ones and tell them how I’d fallen over in public twice and how I’d had the best battered sausage and chips in the country. A few weeks prior to my trip, I realised that nobody seems to send postcards any more – in fact, I think the last postcard I got was when my nan went on a cruise more than a decade ago – and this is why I was so hellbent on sending some of my own.

The thoughts about postcards and their sentimentality were initially sparked when some of my friends and family started holidaying abroad again. Since everything has opened up again and holidays are back on the agenda, everyone seems to be sunning themselves abroad. Seeing all their snaps on social media is so joyous, but the one personal thing that I always secretly wish will arrive never does.

Despite knowing countless people flying around the world, not once have I received a postcard in recent years. Of course, I don’t resent them for not sending one because it’s just a piece of card with a pretty picture on it. But it seems crazy how, more than a decade ago, they were a real tradition whenever anyone would visit a new place. Whether you were visiting a foreign country and had loads to pack into the blank space on the back, or if you visited a new city in the UK or a quaint little seaside town, postcards were a staple in our society.

With the recipient’s address and a wonky stamp on the right-hand side and a sweet-yet-slightly-rushed note on the left, postcards are those wonderful spur-of-the-moment, incredibly sentimental, little nuggets of life. Giving someone an insight into the adventures you’ve been on, written on a corny-yet-classic “Wish you were here!” postcard, is one of those underrated things that I hope won’t ever disappear completely.

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment, sign up to our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter by clicking here

As an avid letter writer, I am a big lover of putting pen to paper and often do just this when writing a letter to my pen pal Hannah, who lives in Maine in the US. For more than four years, Hannah and I have exchanged around one letter per month, divulging our thoughts and feelings and keeping the art of physical writing alive. Far more time-consuming than writing a postcard, it’s amazing that we’ve maintained such a thing in 2022, with emailing, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger so prominent. So why on earth have postcards died and dwindled away?

Well, I guess I know the answer to that question deep down, because as I type this, I’m faced with the shallow pile of postcards I bought the other day on my seaside day trip, currently unwritten and looking out of place on my coffee table. There they sit beside my cup of tea, while the first-class stamps remain in my purse. After rushing to the gift shop 30 minutes before my train was due to depart, I bought six postcards, grabbed a coffee and sat down to write them – only to realise I had no pen. I’ll still send them. Alas, it won’t feel authentic and they’ll have a London postmark – but at least I’m keeping the art of postcard writing alive somehow.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in