It was nice to see this Glimpse of History piece on Free Mail Delivery in Plainfield, NJ, complete with anecdote about the adjacent bar room. We sometimes forget how intertwined with our lives the mail is. The mail is important to all of us and our history as Americans. This is why it’s hard for me to hear people complain about the mail and use phrases like “snail mail,” or claim it would be better to abolish or totally privatize. The fact remains that there are few other ways to communicate so inexpensively that convey the connection that a written letter provides. Most people would stop using email altogether if they were to be charged 44¢ for every message they send.
On the other hand, sometimes we have to look past the ridiculous nicknames and see what the post can do. This NY Times article relates the special place “snail mail” (yick, hate that phrase) has for military personnel. I disagree with the claim that Facebook and text messaging have largely made the written letter obsolete, and am glad so many people still appreciate the power of the written letter.