The Dying Post Office

The post office is not doing so well these days. I hardly ever have to mail anything, and neither do many others. The common wisdom is that this situation was caused by E-mail. I had occasion to think over the matter recently, and I have concluded that it was not E-mail and that E-mail was not even the second thing contributing to the decline of snail mail.

I think that the decline started with the telephone. Whereas before the telephone, one might use the mail to invite someone to visit or to arrange a visit, with the telephone, one can simply call.

Shortly after the telephone was invented, one official stated that it would never catch on, because there were a lot of messenger boys. We know how that worked out!

When telephone callers could place their own long-distance calls, this accelerated. This happened back in the 1960’s.

Still, I would pay bills by mail. The second nail was when one could make payments where one banked. I think I was first doing this in the 1980’s. I have done this for years. I pay my telephone bill and my credit card bills at my credit union.

Then, E-mail became commonplace. Sure, it has had an impact, but I think that the telephone and being able to pay bills where one banks were there with the daggers first.