Wow…It Is An Email Generation

13 Jun

I had an awakening at the post office today while I waited on line to mail a package.  It was a moment that had a bit of deja vu about it.  I remember when touch tone phones came out, and people quickly forgot about dial phones.  In fact,  I remember my children seeing a dial phone at a local children’s museum and asking me how to use it.  They tried pushing the numbers; they did not realize they had to spin the dial.

Today at the post office I realized what the email generation was losing… the ability to mail a letter.

As I was standing in line a young man, about 18-19 years old, walked up to the clerk with a card and envelope in his hand.  The clerk took it and said,  “What do you need?  This already has a stamp on it.”  The boy said, “I need to mail this card.”

“Oh,” the clerk responded.  “Is this one of our cards?  Do you have to pay for it?”

“No,” the boy responded.  I just need to mail it.”

“Okay,” the clerk said, looking puzzled.  “You need to put the card into the envelope.”

The boy did that and handed the enclosed envelope to the clerk.  It was addressed.

“Now you have to seal the envelope,” the clerk said.

“How do I do that?” The boy asked.

By this time, I was listening in absolute amazement.  He honestly did not know how to mail a card.  The clerk helped him seal it, and the boy left.

Then came, to the same clerk, another young man.  He was a bit older, maybe 20.  And he handed a stamped, sealed envelope to the clerk.

“There needs to be an address on this envelope,” the clerk says.

“I know,” the young man responded, “But how do you write it?  Do I write it across the top like an email address?”

He was not joking.  He had no idea how to address an envelope.  The clerk helped him out, showing him how to put the address in three lines: name; address; city, state and zip code.

To be honest, with the first boy, I thought it was a fluke.  How could that be with someone who was the age of 18 or 19, I did not know.  But obviously he had not mailed a letter on his own.

However, when the second guy got up there and had no idea how to address an envelope, I was almost laughing out loud.  I controlled myself.  But I flashed back to my grandmother. She was born in 1898 and died in 1993.  I remember her telling me about the times before cars and technology.  And how everything was changing so quickly. And then my parents.  Although my Dad did learn to use the computer and email, my Mom never did.

Now we are launching the Email Generation.   Postage and envelopes might become obsolete.  I still get an occasional letter or card from a friend. Not very often.  But I think the email generation will lose the joy of opening mail.

10 Responses to “Wow…It Is An Email Generation”

  1. thegenealogygirl June 13, 2017 at 10:11 pm #

    It’s so true! I’m happy to say, however, that my 19 year son has successfully mailed a few packages to us. Apparently I taught him well enough how to properly address items to be mailed. Phew!

    • zicharon June 13, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

      I was so surprised!

    • zicharon June 13, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

      Glad you taught your son!

      • thegenealogygirl June 14, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

        I made him address his own thank you notes lots of times. He did a huge batch just before he left home. I guess it stuck. 😉

      • zicharon June 14, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

        My children also. An important skill!!

  2. Amy June 14, 2017 at 7:04 am #

    I have to say that I was really surprised by this. I know that the younger generation can’t imagine life before smart phones and computers, but not to know how to address a letter? Don’t kids write thank you notes any more? Or is it done by email? Our friends’ children still write traditional thank you notes in envelopes, but maybe the kids ten years younger than that just don’t. How pathetic!

    • zicharon June 14, 2017 at 7:07 am #

      That is what I wondered. But I do know more and more people are just doing invitations on line, and I would assume thank you notes as well.

      • Amy June 14, 2017 at 7:09 am #

        I guess I can’t be judgmental. Times change, practices change. I have to move on with the times.

      • zicharon June 14, 2017 at 7:30 am #

        Just think of how our parents always answered the phone and so knew who was calling us. Now everyone has their own phone.

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