Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Postcar Pals (and how my rant starting from one subject leads to another)

I saw a thread about postcard pals in a facebook group and I was almost disappointed how many seemed to think that it's a waste of time/stamps and "If I want to receive and send postcards I use postcrossing, thank you very much".

Is it that important that all of your letters that you receive are long? Wouldn't a simple postcard from someone brighten your day? Is there only postcrossing or pen palling for most of the people? Couldn't the postcard swaps last longer than just one or two postcards?

I personally prefer postcard pals over postcrossing. I have had postcard pals since 2009 but due to life changes some have stopped exchanging cards and I've gotten new ones, for example Bree and Amit whose cards I'm happy to receive - I usually jump up and down when I get those.

With postcard pals you don't usually get as close as you do with pen pals (unless you send your cards in envelopes anyone is able to read those) but you do exchange some thoughts and usually it builds up to become something more than just two strangers exchanging postcards and telling how the day/weather is. Your pals usually learn your likes and dislikes quite easily and you get cards that you like. With postcrossing this is unsure as some people do take wishlists seriously when others just send whatever they feel like sending.

If you want to exchange postcards why wouldn't you get a postcard pal or two instead of sending cards to postcrossers who some have extremely strict lists on what they want and what they don't want to receive? When I don't feel like or have the time to write a letter I tend to have time to write a postcard or two and even a postcard does bring a smile to the receiver's face.

In modern pen palling world the length of the letter and the time that the receiver takes to reply seems to be the most important things (or at least that's what I've more or less understood while reading the Facebook group - the longer the letter and the quicker the reply travels to you the better). Also the age of the one your writing with HAS to be near your own age (at least in most cases I've seen). I have pals who write one A4 full of text and then there are pals who write novels and the ages vary from 15 to 50!

Once in a while it's nice to write and receive postcards instead of letters. Is it a waste of money to have a postcard pal with whom you exchange postcards once a month or so when you waste your stamps on people you'll never know in postcrossing?

I'm not against postcrossing or long letter writers but it pisses me off how most of the older people (older than me) in pen palling world seem to think that letters HAVE to be long and 3-4 pages long letters are just waste of money. And most of all I'm angry about the age discrimination in most cases. "I'm XX years old (usually over 25) so I wouldn't have anything in common with a 16/17 year olds." PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT. WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS. Some 17 year olds can be more mature than some 25 years olds!!
This is probably one of the reasons I haven't even tried to find any pals via the group (I've gotten 2 but they found me). Some of them just make me SO angry with the discrimination and their attitude. "That's shit and even though I don't know anything about that I'm going to state my opinion."

Yes, this all was written after a long exhausting day but I've wanted to get some of these things out since last year.



  1. I completely agree with you that having postcard pals is really amazing and better than postcrossing in many ways. I hate the kind of discrimination you've stated in your post because I personally feel that age or the length of letters should not be a barrier in pen palling. I am very touched that you like receiving postcards from me(Thank you!you've made my day!!!). I love to get postcards from you and I'm always happy and excited when I find them in my mailbox.

    1. Great to hear I'm not the only one who hates the discrimination!! I can't stand how everything has to be divided by age in various pen palling forums and communities, like "under 18", 19-25, 26-30 etc.. I'm really pleased with the letters I exchange with my oldest pal!! And I even had an older one when I started exchanging letters with foreigners!
      Thank you for the comment! :3

  2. I agree with you. I'm 27, but tend to choose penpals near my age, because out of experience we have more to write about. BUT, with that said, my youngest penpal in nearly ten years younger than me, and my oldest penpal, well, could be my grandmother :) It's nice to see perspectives that people my own age don't have.

    About postcard pals, I've been wanting one for a long time, but I never took the time to find one, because my impression is that "everyone" wants to swap one or two postcards with people they find in Postcrossing or similar forums. It seems like "no one" want to have a longer postcard exchange like a penpal-friendship.

    And yes, it also seems that many snail mailers is all about having as many pals as possible, and write as many letters as they can in one day, to reply as fast as they can and so on. Come on, give me a break, we all have real lifes here, don't we? It is not possible at all for me to write four letters in a day. I want to spend some time on each letter, not just scribble something down. BUT, YES, it is okay with a postcard too, in between letters to my penpals, or as an exchange to a postcard pal.

    Oh, sorry for the long comment.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Not sure if my comment went through...
    I don't really have postcard pals, I think...but I do love receiving postcards from time to time. I have friends who sent me postcards or greeting cards for christmas or birthdays or other occasions. I am happy about getting letters, but it also makes me happy to see a nice postcard in my mailbox, and if it's from a friend, it's even better.
    Sometimes what I don't like about postcrossing is that usually you don't hear from the person anymore after you've received that card...especially if the person seems nice.

    I love getting postcards from friends...which is why I like exchanging postcards with friends...and you're not disappointed that easily when a friend or a pal sends you something, because they know what you like...

    Age doesn't really matter to me either, as long as I get along well with that person...