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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Do we really need the mail anymore?

In life, everything runs its course. Relationships, fads, jobs, hobbies. Things come and go. That is just how it is.
No more is that evident than with goods and services. Before the car was invented, horses were a valued commodity in the Western World. Afterwards, they became mostly racehorses and pets. The need to get around was still there, but the mode of getting there changed. Fields still needed to be ploughed, but machines were invented for that. Progress is progress. There is always something new that makes the old obsolete.
Before the internet was invented, newspapers were a staple.While some still read the newspaper and get their "news" there, most now get their information from television and the internet. Most of what we would read these days in the hard copy newspaper is old news. Many staple newspapers have shut down altogether or have just become internet sites. Such is the way of the world. Times change.
With technology that has always been the case. What seemed like a rock solid business or necessary technology becomes obsolete, or at the very least less needed, once something new comes along. That was very much the case when VCR's were the greatest new thing until DVD's and DVR's came along. Now, nobody wants or uses VCR's. Times change.
Radio was the big thing when it was invented. Before the advent of TV, it is how many families got their nightly entertainment. While radio has endured, it has steadily eroded since television came along. Once satellite and internet radio became popular traditional radio faded even more, to the point that many don't listen to it at all anymore. Other than the odd trip to the grocery store or long road trip, I don't either. Times change.
Television changed the way the Western world got their entertainment. The level of consumption of television product, especially since the prevalence of cable, is simply astonishing. Many children of my generation spent countless hours daily and weekly watching television. Until the internet came along. Now, in addition to all the programs you can get on the internet, you can watch many shows directly from the internet and avoid traditional TV altogether. Times change.
When video games went from the realm of arcades, to bowling alleys and then into the home, board games simply went to the shelves of our basements and attics and are rarely seen anymore. Atari and Intellivision started it, but the new generation of games, Wii, Playstation and Xbox..among others, have once again shifted the entertainment focus. Times change.
Then the internet came along and everything changed. 
Which brings me to the mail. Why do we need daily, or even any delivery of mail to our front door?
On a daily basis, I get 4 or 5 pieces of mail. With the rare exception, most of that is junk mail. The rest could be the odd letter, which I could easily pick up at the local station when notified or the odd bill which I could easily transfer to online banking and bill paying. There was a time when we needed the mail delivered directly to our doors. It made sense to do it that way. Those days are over. Times change. It makes no financial, practical or logistical sense to do it that way anymore. 
There was a time when a mail strike would get people all worked up. These days, between the internet and private carriers, there is very little reason to care. I certainly would not notice. 
I think the time has come to ask the question: Do we really need the mail anymore? 
My answer is NO. We don't. Times change. Postal delivery mail is an obsolete technology that only exists now to maintain jobs that should be eliminated. And they will. 
Times change. In this modern world, mail delivery should change with it. And it will. It will have no choice.  




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Daily profile about a specific artist,their life, their work and their impact