The United States Postal Service has announced that it is once again seeking a rate hike. Stamps would go to 50 cents apiece. You know, I don't really care. I use the postal service for so few things that it just doesn't matter much to me. The one exception is when I occasionally do "snail mailings" to Amish Cook fans...that does get expensive, so I really don't do that much anymore. I think the higher stamp cost will simply accelerate customer flight from the USPS in much the same way newspapers hiking their cost has driven folks to the internet. That will cause more pain for the USPS just like it has for newspapers. But there IS one group disproportionately impacted by postal problems: Amish and Mennonites. I pay almost all bills online now and most of my correspondence, social and business, is through electronic means. But not the Amish. They don't have the option (in the vast majority of cases) of going online to pay their electri...whoa, the Amish don't have electric:), okay, they don't have the option of going online to order a magazine subscription, contact their relatives, or pay their taxes.. I've noticed the number of Christmas cards Rachel and i have received has been steadily declining (um..I don't think it's personal, just a trend) and Amish Cook fan mail has been steadily diminishing. I don't think this is because Lovina is any less popular, it's just that so much of the communication has shifted online. You have a question for Lovina, you post it online and I can relay it to her. It's quicker and cheaper than letters. Three fan letters for Lovina came in the mailbox today and I consider that a busy day, it used to be that 3 letters was a slow day. How times have changed! I just wanted to make this post, though, to call attention to the fact that while many of us are moving away from the USPS, the Amish and Mennonites really can't. So that's yet another factor to throw into the mix when our government is weighing what to do with our USPS. So, what do you think? Do you still rely on the USPS? Do you care if they slowly fade away?
I rarely use USPS but as you mentioned, my Amish friends rely on it. I have one friend who does a lot of side work and he relies on me for assistance with emails. Some people want the Amish to do their repairs, roofing, add-ons, etc. but are not willing to work within the contrainsts of the Amish beliefs. They expect the Amish to cater to them. So I periodically receive photos, dimensions, instructions, etc. for my friend.
My hope is that just as phones are allowed to be installed in phone sheds among most of the church districts, I hope the bishops realize that it may be necessary for them to allow internet access in order to pay bills, communicate, etc. (most likely in some type of controlled manner).
Most of my Amish friends feel that small controlled steps towards technology are necessary in order for them to preserve their heritage and lifestyle.
Cindy, it's very, very tricky....I think you raise some great points....The internet is a very divisive issue within the Amish church because where do you draw the line? They'll figure it out, though. The Amish have always dealt with technology in their own way and come to compromises, so, I think you're right...the type of "controlled manner" you mention is already occurring in some settlements and it will continue to do.....thanks for the comment!
We have moved away from both Postal service and phone calls, as both are expensive in Canada. Internet is expensive, too, but subbing it for the other services makes it cost-effective. I am waiting for a letter to arrive from St. John (three hours down river, by car) that was mailed Tuesday.
2010 was the year I stopped using USPS for almost everything - I do still send birthday cards and Chritmas cards -my bills are ALL on-line. I received a first-class bill 3 days before it was DUE - that is when I switched to on-line bill pay I even help my mom and we pay the electric bill and phone bill on-line for her - we have maybe 2 pieces each month using USPS. The service is SO horrific anymore - I get magazine so late - weekly magazines I'm lucky to get before the next week is out! They are the ones who have the horrible customer service - they did it to themselves! Sorry, USPS - you STINK!
Funny, I haven't noticed all the junk mail slowing down .. and I think the catalogs are sending out more even if I don't request one .. as for myself, I'd say I mail maybe 10 items a year .. usually a b'day or get well card. Interesting, I was just commenting on another site that electronics have taken over our country .. if we are attacked again it will make this country like a 3rd world country .. no bank, gas, groceries, doctor, medicines, mail .. nothing
I think that we live in such a 'instant gratification' world that the Postal Service seems 'outdated'. When I was a kid in the 70's the mail was slow (but we didn't know it at the time). With computers came speed, thus making the PS faster. Now that we can text and email, that speed is no longer fast enough.
I and my children LOVE getting mail from family/friends. I would hate to see that end. I will forever us the USPS!
I have to agree with Trish. I enjoy walking out to the mailbox & pulling out the mail, even if it is bills!! to me nothing is more personal than a hand written letter from someone. computers are faster yes, but the take away from the personal side of recieving & giving mail.
I still mail all my letters by USPS. I've been saying for awhile now, why don't they just up the price and get on with it. I do not think that .50 is high at all. Think about it. You can mail a letter or bill and the next day or not more than 2 days it can be across the country for .50. That's a bargain in my book. I'm glad that they still bring my bills, magazines, etc. to my front door 6 days a week. I certainly will not complain about them jacking up the price by .07 or .08 cents.
This is a topic of conversation at our house fairly often. We really enjoy sending cards and letters to our friends and family and would really hate to not do it. We enjoy getting them also. However, we can sure identify with Kelly about the bill that comes to the house 3 days before the DUE date. That happens to often. To remedy that we will no doubt end up doing that type of business on line.
I would also hate to see them do away with Saturday delivery.
I can't imagine losing the postal service altogether. It would mean no cards for out of town friends and family. I guess packages would have to go UPS? Magazines would be online? Yuck! And what about overseas correspondence? It would be a big inconvenience if it was completely gone.