In this era of endless technology expansion, the world moves at a relentlessly fast pace. Actions that used to take days now take seconds. And someone somewhere is working around the clock to shave off the time it takes to write this article.
In regards to communication, this causes us to wonder why we need snail mail at all. After all, there’s email or text. Why do something slow when you can do it quickly?
It’s no secret that we are moving away from paper communications as a society to as much of a paperless as possible – and that we are doing so at a breakneck pace, often times without ever even considering whether or not our new digital replacements are true 1:1 replacements or are a little bit lacking.
It’s impossible to argue against the fact that digital communications have brought a lot of speed, a lot of innovation, and a lot of really impressive advantages into the mix that traditional paper communications – like snail mail – can’t even come close to replicating.
At the same time, though, the odds are pretty good that we won’t ever be able to replace snail mail for a variety of different reasons – including the ones that we highlight rest of this quick guide.
Sure, there are people out there that are 100% certain that snail mail is going to go the way of the dinosaur sooner rather than later.
However, this mindset isn’t universally adopted like one would think. That’s why we’re here to give you all the reasons why snail mail is still important.
Let’s jump right in!
They send their notices through mail. Al Capone, one of the most well known gangsters of all time, got away with many crimes but even he couldn’t escape the IRS. Whether it’s a fat tax return you don’t want to miss out on or a notice that something is wrong, you’re going to need a mailing address to communicate with the IRS.
A lot of governmental agencies are comfortable sending important documents and transmissions over digital channels of communication, but when you’re talking about something as important and as sensitive as tax information – and when you want to be 100% sure that this information cannot and will not be scammed, counterfeit, or altered after the fact – it’s impossible to beat the built-in advantages that snail mail and physical mailings have to offer.
As long as we still have a postal system (any postal system) the odds are pretty good that the IRS is going to continue to leverage and lean on it as a delivery mechanism for important documents regarding our taxes.
You may be able to tweet the Department of State (@StateDept) that you want a passport, but it’s unlikely that you’ll get a response. Passport applications have to be submitted by mail and as much as we wish it were quicker, we have to wait 6-8 weeks for them to mail our new passport to us. If you don’t have a mailing address, those plans of traveling in the world might never come to fruition.
The idea of replacing our physical passports with digital passports has been tossed around for a while now, but again this isn’t something that we are likely to see widespread adaptation of anytime soon.
For starters, the technology to implement widescale digital passports that are safe, secure, and “hacker proof” just do not exist right now – and may never exist in the future, to be frank.
Secondly, even if the United States was able to implement a completely digital passports solution that was 100% safe, 100% secure, and 100% hacker proof there’s a high likelihood that very few (if any) other nations would be able to adapt that the exact same technology – or would be able or willing to secure and lock it down the same way that the US might have.
A paper passport, a physical passport, and the overall passport system as it exists today is nearly universally accepted as the gold standard for international travel. The system is easy to understand, effortless to implement, and (relatively) safe and secure in ways that digital solutions aren’t.
If the government needs to get you a physical passport they are going to send it out via snail mail, maintaining the “chain of ownership” from the government to your hands.
Sure, you might be able to pop down to a local federal building and get a passport that way – but the odds are that it will have to have been sent from the State Department to that federal building, using snail mail along the way even if it wasn’t mailed to you directly.
If you plan to own a credit card you’re going to need a mailing address. Not only is it needed for you to receive your physical credit card, it’s needed for bank statements and the address verification system (AVS). Being hacked is one of the biggest fears people have while online shopping.
The Address Verification System compares the numeric portion of the billing address provided to the merchant to the one on file with your card network to reduce fraud.
While many of us are completely comfortable doing a decent amount of our banking online (with more moving to digital banking solutions every day than ever before) it’s easy to understand why so much of our personal, private, and sensitive information when it comes to our finances needs to be tied directly to a physical address.
Even if you choose to move forward with “electronic only” statements and banking tools you’ll still likely need to receive paper checks, regular statements and updates, and may even need to confirm different details through the mail with your bank.
If that’s the case, snail mail is the ideal option to take advantage of.
Voting is a civic duty of every American citizen. Being able to choose who you want representing you at every level of government is a powerful tool.
However, voting isn’t as simple as answering a Facebook poll. To obtain your voter registration card you’ll need an address not only to verify that you’re a resident, but to receive your card in the mail. Don’t have a mailing address? I hope you like the representative you didn’t get to choose!
Generally, getting summoned for Jury Duty isn’t the highlight of someone’s day. It isn’t very fun to spend hours at a courthouse waiting to be chosen or having a trial that goes on for weeks. Jury summons come by, you guessed it, snail mail! And although it’s some most people want to avoid, doing so could lead to a judge issuing a bench warrant. They won’t be breaking down your door anytime soon, but if you happen to get pulled over, you could be hauled away and fined.
If you didn’t already know, a good tip for job interview is to send them a thank you note. According to an Accountemps survey, 80% of Human Resource managers say that receiving a thank you note is helpful . However, only 24% of applicants actually send one.
Now you could send them a quick email. You can copy-paste your script, change a couple words, and boom, you’ve sent your thank you. But is that good enough? With a handwritten letter, there is no copy-paste, you’re using your time to write every single word and your interviewer will know that. As people use snail mail, less and less, each time someone receives a letter, it stands out that much more.
This is maybe one of the easiest ways to separate yourself as an interviewee from the rest of the pack, something that is especially important in a business environment and a job environment that is as competitive as the one we are living in right now.
On top of that, sending a handwritten letter (with your resume attached) through the mail cuts through a lot of the traditional gatekeepers that would have potentially blocked your message from landing on the right desk to begin with – helping you to “jump the line”, so to speak without having to do anything untoward or unethical.
It’s More Meaningful
Wishing you a happy birthday or congratulating you on a big achievement with a Facebook post and money transfer isn’t difficult. It takes about 5 minutes.
But a card through the mail?
It’s especially personal. It’s a card they choose just for you, their fingers touched the paper, It’s their handwriting, it’s their spit sealing the envelope, and you know that they took the time to write it, stamp it, and drive to their mailbox all to convey how proud they are of you.
Time is valuable and as a result, it’s a very powerful gift.
Need a good mailing address?
Snail Mail is still important. But what if you don’t have a safe place to get your mail?
There are mail thieves ravaging your neighborhood or your roommates like to snoop. Or maybe you’re moving out of the country and don’t even know where to start?
Get a US street mailing address with US Global Mail. US Global Mail allows you to manage your snail mail online, combining the best aspects of email and snail mail into one.
This virtual mailbox service provides a whole host of advantages and simply wouldn’t have been able to leverage with a traditional physical mailing address or a PO Box alone. US Global Mail has a variety of different services available for individuals and businesses large and small to leverage, helping clients get the best of all worlds – snail mail and digital communication – in a way that few other firms in the industry can make possible.
There’s a reason why US Global Mail is universally regarded mailbox alternative companies in the industry right now. They continue to innovate, improve, and iterate the services that they make available, relying on real customer feedback and information to make sure that they are providing only the best solutions for a world that is changing rapidly.
If you have any questions whatsoever about the solutions US Global Mail makes possible, please don’t hesitate to reach out at your earliest convenience. You can also learn more about how these services compare to a PO Box here.