“The postcard is a great neglected literary form about fifty words in length.”
— Garrison Keillor
The postcard is dead. Just like the scroll, the tablet, and the sheepskin, it’s dead as a communication form.
That does not mean the postcard is actually … dead. The funny thing about dead products is that they really don’t die, they just evolve into something else.
The feather pen? It’s right there on your desk called a ballpoint pen. The Model T? It’s now the Honda Accord in your driveway. The incandescent lightbulb? A lot of it’s form and function now fluoresce.
That’s where the postcard is heading. Maybe not in physical form, but in purpose. It’s function hasn’t changed, but other mediums like Facebook and text messages are quicker. So the postcard has to evolve into something else. It’s purpose has to evolve. The purpose of a postcard is now more than a short letter and vastly more interesting.
A postcard has become a gift. A small gift of your attention. It’s a piece of space and time from one part of the world to another. From one person to another. It says someone is worth your time.
Taking the time to put fifty words on a postcard sends an entirely different message than those same words in a text message.
It says far more.
Today’s gift of time … My wife and I wrote several postcards to our camp kids and their friends.