-By Kristen P.-
On one of those rare occasions when a teenager receives mail, it’s probably content of the following: birthday money from Grandma Gertrude, thank-you letters from those friends with formal parents who are just so darn excited that you invited them to your birthday party, college junk, or maybe a letter from your pen pal in Zimbabwe. Compare this to how frequently a teenager checks their inbox or the notifications they’ve received on Facebook. The difference is significant. It isn’t hard to see that the postal service has taken a back seat when it comes to what it does best, but as much as we would like to blame the Internet, that isn’t the case.
Yes, writing letters to each other isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be. Times have changed, and communication has gone electronic. Even before e-mail, personal letters were long reduced to a minimum thanks to the futuristic telecommunication device known as the telephone. Setting aside personal letters, which actually only account for less than one percent of the 100 billion pieces of first-class mail distributed by the Postal Service. Consider businesses like Netflix, who send some two million Netflix envelopes through first-class mail daily, a huge asset to the postal service. Another example of how Internet is both helping and harming the Postal Service, would be when it comes to billing. Though this doesn’t apply to the average teenager, many studies conclude that people are more and more willing to make payments online (boo), but people still prefer to receive the original bills on paper, with the help of the Postal Service (yay).