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New Technology and the Power of Snail Mail

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How Do I Love Theeeeeee?

Aren't you just a wee bit excited when you get a piece of snail mail that isn't selling you anything, and isn't a bill? I love getting cards, letters, and little gifts in the mail.

Sure, it's truly wonderful when a package arrives and it's something that you ordered online - but think of what it would be like if you received something in the mail and it was ordered online by someone else and sent to you as a gift! I love to get snail mail.

My most recent snail mail delight was paper thin - my dearest friend knew I needed this little protective sleeve for my bank card, so she packaged one up with a sticky note and her business card, and sent it my way. You cannot begin to imagine how awash I was with good feelings to think about my friend thinking of that simple little item for me - and going to the effort of getting it into the mail.

With all of these fantastic articles, websites, info bites, texts, tweets, and emails, have we forgotten to invest in simple one-to-one communication that says, "You are important enough!"? We all know how easy it is to communicate electronically.

Imagine how your daily world, and your connection to people in your community and around the world, would change if we were each to send only one card a month to someone who matters. It doesn't sound like a great deal of effort, does it? Try to imagine the impact.

All photos in this article are copyright by Me - Teapixie! :)

One photo, in the section regarding poll results, is from morguefile.com.

Whoopi Goldberg and Mail Boxes

Whoopi Goldberg did a monologue about young kids being uneducated about snail mail. She described an interaction with her niece who asked, "What's that box?" They were walking down the street. Whoopi asked the girl to walk over to the box and then asked her to read what was written on the box. The girl said, "usmail." Not, US Mail (as in United States Mail), but "us" as in "you," "me," and "us".

Whoopi believes this state of irrelevance has developed as a result of kids being tech involved. I think it happens because adults are not guiding kids in, and educating kids about, letter writing.

I am tech involved by writing this article, but I have spent time with my little pixie, teaching her how to write a letter and what's involved in mailing a letter. I can tell you - she LOVES receiving mail and my Mom (her Grandma) knows she loves to get mail and sends her little parcels. Learning about mail is all about learning about giving and receiving! Merry Christmas? ;)

Make Your Own Cool Cards And Hip Notepaper

I started making my own cards years ago and the idea has caught on within my family. What I love is that we can really personalize our paper to reflect the person we're making it for. I've recently gotten cards with hand-drawn versions of orchids and butterflies. After I started this, people have asked me to do logos and things for them because they like the way the pieces come together. Connect with your artistic abilities (we all have them) and make someone smile when they get your work in the mail.

Stamping

There is an enormous section in Michaels (the American art store that has crossed borders into other countries) that profiles stamping. It must be an enormously popular activity because Michaels dedicates a great deal of space to products that support this activity.

While I am only profiling stamps that can be used for words, there are stamps available to create cards and writing paper with pretty much any theme you can think of. I am particular to the stamps that have historic significance in the countries with romance languages. One of my stamp sets is of historic representations of angels while another set is representations of iconic architecture in France and Italy.

I have used these stamps to create beautiful tea towels (I am @theteapixie, afterall!) that I stamped with permanent inks and then set with my iron. In fact, I bought the material and cut and sewed the towels. Of course, the main reason for using stamps in my household is to create writing paper and cards.

Tok Tok Tok - Getting The Message Across

send-and-receive-snail-mail

Sometimes just the act of communicating can be difficult. Think about your own approach to connecting with people and help us all to understand how you use technology.

Sample Card

send-and-receive-snail-mail

This is a photo of a card that I made. This is actually a painting of which I've taken a photo that I have published as a card. I have used acrylic paints, stamps with ink, and foils from chocolate bars. Okay - so I could have sent the chocolate bars, but nobody said I couldn't eat something yummy while making cards. ;)

Calligraphy Supplies

If you have never done calligraphy, now is the time to try it. I want you to explore creating medieval-styled papers, cards, and art pieces. I travel with calligraphy pens at hand because I love designing art and typography with them. Why not make communication fun?

Designing Persona

send-and-receive-snail-mail

Do you have an online persona? Is it you, is it a version of you, or is it not you at all?

Designing a persona online can happen for many reasons. Fear. Hiding. Fun. Business. And more.

Think about it. Would you ever consider creating a persona for snail mail? It's a rare thing to get snail mail from an anonymous person or business. Businesses are known to recreate themselves so that you don't realize that you are connecting with the same old business, but it costs. Just like changing your name, legally, costs. And it seems that our snail mail is more connected with our legal selves than our personas.

In this age of online communication, it appears that snail mail rules when it comes to authenticity. In business, it's worth investing in snail mail, if you are interested in establishing a sense of reliability and sincerity with your clients or customers. In personal communication, it's worth investing your time and energy in snail mail for the relationships that you value, where it matters that you present your real self where it's more challenging to invoke the "editor".

Photo Credit: morgufile with my edits.

Perfect Paper

Below is Calligraphy Rice Paper for making funky writing paper with your calligraphic swirls or letters or whatever you are thinking to include. There is also reusable paper that you should be able to wipe off and practice on again.

send-and-receive-snail-mail

Some Days...

It feels like I only get bills in the mail. I have not opted in to have my bills delivered online because I just don't know if I can train myself to respond to an email, or to get in the habit of looking at my online account regularly, to ensure I pay my bills on time. I'd really like to know how technology is affecting your bill-paying regime.

Amazingly, we can choose to receive our invoices through different formats from how we choose to pay. Let us know which variations you use.

send-and-receive-snail-mail
send-and-receive-snail-mail

The Power Of Snail Mail

Online ordering has changed the postal world. Many of us couldn't go into business without the postal service, and those of us who live in remote areas have had our lives changed, dramatically, by online shopping opportunities. There was a time when people were concerned that our postal service would become an ancient machine of the past, but it has actually become even more important, now that so many people rely on the service for so many reasons.

Along with having this service available come some issues: Shipping and Handling Fees, Reliability, Speed, and Affordability of Service.

Give us your opinion about these topics in the polls below.

Super Shipping Supplies

If you are selling items online, you have to use snail mail and you have to use the BEST shipping supplies. I'm starting a list here and you can vote for the items that you think are the most important to have available for shipping items. Think of this as a way of contributing your expertise to those of us who have no experience with the regular activity of online shipping.

send-and-receive-snail-mail
send-and-receive-snail-mail

Curious? Comparative Time, Cumulative Poll Results.

I am always curious to know how polls are faring. If you want to have influence over the data available, make sure you go back and vote. Here are the top poll results from this article, so far:

How Do You Prefer To Communicate?
October 10, 2012: 46% of 15 respondents prefer face-to-face over tea or coffee.
January 21, 2013: 36% of 19 respondents prefer face-to-face over tea or coffee and 26% prefer snail mail.
September 19, 2017: 42% of 24 respondents prefer face-to-face over tea or coffee and 25% prefer snail mail.

Is Your Whole Day Affected By What You Get In The Snail Mail?
October 10, 2012: 40% of 10 respondents say they love the surprises.
January 21, 2013: 41% of 12 respondents say they love the surprises and 25% will only open handwritten snail mail because it makes them feel good.
September 19, 2017: 47% of 17 respondents say they love the surprises and 15% will only open handwritten snail mail because it makes them feel good.

How Do You Like To Receive Your Bills?
October 10, 2012: 40% of 15 respondents prefer snail mail.
January 21, 2013: 44% of 18 respondents prefer snail mail and 28% prefer email.
September 19, 2017: 50% of 22 respondents prefer snail mail and 23% prefer email.

How Do You Like To Pay Your Bills?
October 10, 2012: 66.7% of 12 respondents prefer to pay through online banking.
January 21, 2013: 66.7% of 15 respondents prefer to pay through online banking while 13% prefer mail and 13% prefer credit card.
September 19, 2017: 68% of 19 respondents prefer to pay through online banking while 16% prefer to pay using the mail so it takes longer for the payment to be processed.

What do you think of Shipping and Handling Fees For Items Ordered Online?
October 10, 2012: 50% of 12 respondents feel that fees are reasonable.
January 21, 2013: 46% of 15 respondents feel that fees are reasonable and 27% think that some companies are reasonable.
September 19, 2017: 40% of 20 respondents feel that fees are reasonable and 30% think that some companies are reasonable.

Do You Feel That Online Ordering Is Reliable And Fast?
October 10, 2012: 50% of 8 respondents say yes, but will only use it if they can't find their product locally.
January 21, 2013: 50% of 10 respondents say yes, but only if they can't find their product locally. 30% say it's the only way they shop.
September 19, 2017: 43% of 14 respondents say yes, but only if they can't find their product locally. 29% say it is the only way they shop.

Photo Credit: Morguefile.com by Mensatic

In my whimsical moments, snail mail is all about sending lovely messages across the miles on a slip of paper. In my pessimistic moments, snail mail is all about bills. And when I'm doing business, it's all about speed, reliability, and affordability. Tell us about how snail mail fits into your life.

© 2012 Tea Pixie

What Does Snail Mail Mean To YOU?

Tea Pixie (author) on July 15, 2014:

@Natalie W Schorr: I wonder why it seems so much more personal? Is it because we know it takes more effort? When I think about it, I know I respond very positively to having hard copy arrive on my doorstep. It's like a little gift.

Natalie W Schorr on May 19, 2014:

I LOVE sending and receiving snail mail!

Tea Pixie (author) on December 19, 2012:

@Wednesday-Elf: The joy of a letter or parcel that arrives in the mail! It is lovely that you are passing the joy along to your grandsons.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on December 19, 2012:

I've always loved 'snail mail' - both to send and receive. With seemingly 'instant' everything these days, the anticipation of fun cards and little packages arriving in your mailbox is a delight for small children. My parents did it for my kids and I now do it for my grandsons.

anonymous on September 29, 2012:

It is nice to get a card or a letter, but these are becoming rarities.

Tea Pixie (author) on September 13, 2012:

@Craftymarie: Funny, isn't it? Immediate communication has made snail mail more valuable. Who would have guessed?

Marie on September 13, 2012:

I love receiving snail mail and it's even more precious in these days with email and texting and cell phones etc.

Tea Pixie (author) on August 24, 2012:

@SheGetsCreative: Isn't it funny how our behaviours don't always reflect our desires? I just returned from a vacation and half-way through I sat down and scribbled out postcards. It felt so good to drop those little rays of sunshine into the mailbox. You'll be surprised how good it feels to just send a pretty picture with a few heart-felt words to someone who matters. They'll likely tell you when they get it because it is so special to receive things in the mail now. :)

Angela F from Seattle, WA on August 24, 2012:

It's a lovely way to send a special message. I rarely get them anymore, but then again, I rarely send!

Tea Pixie (author) on August 01, 2012:

@SteveKaye: I find email to be my 'gettin stuff done' mode and snail mail is for thoughtful writing. But I do write all the time, using many technologies.

SteveKaye on July 31, 2012:

Snail mail is another form of mail. (pause to yawn) -- I like writing. I write in a journal, I write thank you notes, I write all the time.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 18, 2012:

@Gypzeerose: It is a funny thing - I have saved letters and postcards in nooks all over my house. I probably have thousands of emails on my account, but they don't hold my attention like the letters I receive in the mail. Thank you so much for your blessing.

Rose Jones on July 18, 2012:

I have a friend which whom I share many letters - have for years. They are so special. I love postcards too. Squid Angel Blessed for great content about an important matter.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 18, 2012:

@Mark Shirbroun: Mee too! And I ordered it for myself off of squidoo. Hahahahahaha. And it felt like such a wonderful day! Thank you for sharing your joy - I am smiling. :)

Mark Shirbroun on July 18, 2012:

Something special about getting snail mail - I just got a package in the mail yesterday and it made my day.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 16, 2012:

@Elsie Hagley: Oh Kiwinana71. Thank you for your blessing. Write someone a letter today. It will make you feel great!

Tea Pixie (author) on July 16, 2012:

@microfarmproject: It's the cat's meow to get art in the mail!

Tea Pixie (author) on July 16, 2012:

@Phillyfreeze: Oh yes! Isn't that just the best? A true version of "Give Love" :)

Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on July 13, 2012:

About 5 or 6 times a year I will go to my local CVS or Walgreens and purchase my Hallmark cards for various occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, etc.

When i sign the card and put it in the envelope and put the stamp in place and drop it in the mail box I am anticipating the recipients reaction when they open the envelope, especially if the card contains money!

microfarmproject on July 12, 2012:

I love to receive personal snail mail. My mother-in-law creates lovely cards and sends them for all holidays and birthdays. I love to receive them and it is fun to see what she has created. However, for other forms of communication, digital mail is preferable to me because it's faster and doesn't fill the recycle bin.

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on July 11, 2012:

Nice lens, yes we love snail mail, but it is slowly disappearing. Not a nice thought.

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it, made me think of those days when everything came by snail mail, and some of the nice presents over the years I received. Blessed.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 10, 2012:

@chas65: My optimistic side says, "no way!" I just asked one of my daughter's friends (15 years old) and she said, "It feels so great to get a letter in the mail, way better than an email." I think just that will keep the art alive.

chas65 on July 09, 2012:

I hope it isn't a dying rt.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 08, 2012:

@kerbev: Kab, that is super cool. What an awesome program - I just googled it. ;) Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I might just have to learn more....

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on July 08, 2012:

I've always liked getting snail mail. I am a member of Post Crossing and enjoy getting postcards from around the world.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 08, 2012:

@pg maniac: Thank you so much for giving us a window into your experience and what your perspective is based on.

pg maniac on July 08, 2012:

I used to be an eBay seller - so snail mail was so important to me. Now I actually prefer almost all my communication to be electronic.

Tea Pixie (author) on July 06, 2012:

@DrBillSmithWriter: Wow! Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your support.

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on July 06, 2012:

Thanks for a great lens. Blessings on the way. ;-)

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