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September 6, 2012 - David Alexander
I have a theory that if it weren’t for Netflix, mail would be useless. Think about it: what comes in the mail that is essential? Nothing that I can think of.
You can pay bills online. Who really shops from catalogues anymore? Coupons are widely available online or in the newspaper.
A vast majority of mail is junk mail—offers from banks or businesses, a bunch of crap geared to get you buy something you don’t want. Mail is the paper equivalent of telemarketing.
Everyone loves getting letters, but no one ever writes them, unless of course one of the correspondents is imprisoned or in the military, and even most of them have Internet access nowadays.
Meanwhile, to cover the post office’s costs of dwindling use and diminishing necessity, the price of stamps rises what seems like every year. I subscribe to a more-or-less obscure magazine not easily found on newsstands, but I wouldn’t think it the end of the world if it were shipped the way packages are shipped: through UPS, FedEx or Priority Mail. At least those entities exist because of an actual demand for them, unlike the post office, which is quickly becoming anachronistic—a relic that once held great utility but is withering with each passing year.
I have considered boycotting the mail. I recently went two weeks where I checked the mail for anything I needed, which was next to nothing, and simply left everything else in the box. My theory was that eventually my mail carrier would grow tired of stuffing more and more mail into my box and take the unclaimed envelopes, flyers, brochures and catalogues away. I would claim a victory for dissidents everywhere, setting a precedent that would echo throughout the land.
This futile charade kept up until I realized my mail carrier doesn’t care whether I want my mail. And why should he or she? It’s not as if your garbage man cares whether you put your garbage out; if you don’t, he simply won’t pick it up.