Aside from the occasional package from Amazon or magazine, most of the postal mail we get nowadays is trash.
Itís coupons weíll never use, ads for local businesses we throw away without ever looking at, and credit card offers that I donít even bother opening anymore. I suppose this has kind of always been the case, but in an age where my gmail spam filter sifts so much garbage out of my email inbox, I wish I had something similar for my other inbox.
Iíve tried getting off of different lists, but itís so much harder with postal mail. You have to visit the specific website of the specific company that sends out that ad. If they have an online unsubscription option, itís often just a series of text fields that you fill out, hit submit, and pray.
Often, the junk keeps coming. Itís at a ratio now that actually hinders real mail. Sure, weíll open up hand-addressed mail right away (the rare card that we get), but Iíve accidentally let updated bank or credit cards sit in their envelopes on our table at home because they look so similar to other envelopes that have nothing useful in them.
And opening postal mail takes so much time. With an email, I can browse the subject line from my inbox and almost always know immediately if itís something worth opening. If a postal envelope is something from one of my banks or credit card companies, itís hard to know. Is it an important bill or identity theft notice? Or is it an offer for a different card or those stupid balance transfer checks that are both useless and a huge ID theft risk?
One last gripe: Iím always paranoid about throwing away postal mail. With emails, I know that as long I donít print a hard copy, no one who doesnít have access to my email account will ever see it. With paper mail, I feel like I have to shred anything with the slightest amount of personal information, just to be safe.
I guess my question is: when can we start using the postal service only for package deliveries and turn to email for anything else? Iíll make an exception for hand-written letters, especially from anyone under the age of 12.