The demise of the mailbox.

15 Dec

Postman Pat you are fired. You too, Flat Stanley.

Recently, as I squeezed my hand through the mailbox fumbling for letters, I began thinking about mailboxes….. Nearly every house has one.

I believe they perform 2 functions:

1. To collect mail.

2. A place to display the house number.

More specifically, I began to ponder over the eventual demise of the mailbox. For most, the word ‘mailbox’, will immediately conjure up images of the icon or email contacts on your computer. Meanwhile, your mailbox sits out on your driveway. Unwanted. Uncared for. Unloved. As I started paying more attention to mailboxes & the display of house numbers, I began to realise how many shapes, sizes and colours actually existed. Each one unique and different. The fingerprint to one’s home. Some beautifully maintained. Others, worn down and broken. I began to wonder, if the mailbox acts as a symbolic representation of the house and inhabitants it belongs to.

Daily rituals involving rushing out to the mailbox with anticipation or licking the gum-flavoured stamp before popping a letter into the red postbox are now becoming redundant. With the rise of technology, receiving and sending physical mail has now become more of a disruption. Junk catalogues and bills are now replacing the carefully constructed love letters and postcards of the past. Instead, we compulsively ‘check our mail’ anywhere, anytime using our iphones, ipads and apple macs.

Questions arise: Will we have centralized mailboxes (like in many suburbs of America)? How will we display our house numbers?

Snail trails on the letters (it was only recently, i figured out snail mail was called that because of its speed to get places, not because they eat your mailbox -not all people have mailboxes full of snails) Don’t get me wrong, i’m all for saving trees & paper. I just believe that generations to come, will miss out on that sense of anticipation and the need for patience when waiting for something to arrive or be delivered. The demise of the mailbox, symbolizes the rise of immediacy as it permeates our everyday life.

Don’t get too cocky Mr Telephone booth….I think your heading down the same path…..


One Response to “The demise of the mailbox.”

  1. imstory January 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    I like mailbox number 132!!!
    I think it’s classy :3
    Is that the one you said worn down and broken?
    Eh-em *nodding*
    I was born in 1990,so um- around 90s era when I grew up, I didn’t much experienced receiving mails or writing letters. Did you?

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