Millennials are postal illiterates.
They’re so befuddled by the process of mailing an envelope that they don’t even know where to put the stamp and the address, according to Canada’s North Delta Reporter.
“Anyone under 30 basically doesn’t know how to address a letter,” says Julie Vanmale, an employee at the Salmon Arms main post office.
Granted, this is in Canada, and it’s anecdotal. But it rings true — simple skills like those are going the way of penmanship and the once-general ability to read music.
Blame our education systems if you must, but it shows again that people under 30, while charmed by postal mail and other artifacts of our civilization, have moved online — totally.
And this is bad for the U.S. Postal Service, although its recent $1.5 billion deficit is probably less due to declining use by millennials than to the insane financial structure it labors under, thanks to Congress.
But it’s nothing to be smug about. With Gmail itself composing emails, basic email writing skills may also disappear in time.
Which brings us to what it means for our own little piece of the world. A study by Pure360 shows that 59% of millennials favor email over other channels.
Predictably, over 70% Boomers and Generation X feel the same way. Email comes out pretty well overall — way over direct mail.
There was no ambiguity about the question. The survey asked: “Imagine you’ve made a purchase from a brand/company. How would you like them to send you messages alter you have made your purchase?”
Some of this flies in the face of stereotypes. Falling below email in terms of millennial preference are:
In contrast, only 3% of boomers prefer face-to-face meetings and 2% prefer he phone. But 34% like postal mail, showing there’s life in the old medium yet.
Despite all that, email may well fall in future surveys. As Pure360 observes, millennials increasingly prefer “shorter preference formats like text messages and messenger apps compared to emails.”
And the question remains: Who qualifies as a millennial? Does that include 40-year-olds approaching the fringes of Generation X? According to USA Today, there’s a new micro group: Xennials — those who fall in between.