Wait a minute, Mr. Postman: The mail still matters in our digital age

Mail delivery was ingrained into American culture in the 20th century. Friends communicated by writing letters, household bills were received and returned by mail, and families sent post cards to their relatives while on vacation.

The role of the U.S. Postal Service has changed in the 21st century, however. E-mail and electronic business transactions have replaced communications via letter in many instances.

But for those who did not grow up playing computer games, who do not live in areas with reliable internet service, or who cannot afford the high costs of private delivery services, the postal service still plays an important role in their day-to-day lives. And even tech-savvy young adults receive important communiques in their mailboxes, while businesses rely on household delivery of advertisements.

The postal service is a unique enterprise, tasked by the federal government to deliver mail to all households and businesses. But unless significant steps are undertaken in the near future, the era of postal workers persisting through snow, rain, heat, or gloom of night could be coming to a close – and such an outcome will make the lives of many Americans more difficult and expensive.


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