Have you ever tried to buy envelopes recently?
It’s a lot harder than you would expect. I’ve written before about the death of the letter, but this took me by surprise. I needed to but some plain envelopes. Most times if I need to send a letter I just use one of the prepaid ones you can get from the post office in packs of ten – I write so few letters these days that a pack of ten lasts me at least a couple of years.
However, this time I needed a plain envelope. An ordinary plain letter sized envelope. The sort you used to be able to buy just about anywhere. Nothing special about it.
So I went to the campus stationery store. Nope. None to be had.
Time was when they carried a choice, letters home to mum, letters to girlfriends and boyfriends, letters overseas, letters applying for jobs, scholarships and the like. Not any more. Mum’s on Facebook, and skype and IM are just so much more immediate …
The post office of course only sold prepaid ones, but could sell me lots of padded bags to send things to people. No plain envelopes. No market for them.
The conclusion is that people no longer write letters – or when they do its to send something which can’t be emailed and that that’s a pretty rare event ….