I am from an older generation and the mailbox was my first inbox. Do you still care about yours?
I am on the older end of the spectrum of Lomographers and when I think about analogue, not only does film and vinyl come to mind, but posted mail—as in snail mail.
As a child, my father was in the military and we moved often, far from relatives and friends. Our cheap connection to loved ones was a hand written letter. As a boy, my eyes lit up when I knew the letter carrier had made a delivery. It was a little Christmas to receive a letter from my grandmother, a cousin or a friend from my last town. When my father was out to sea and in foreign lands I received letters with strange postage or packages filled with goodies.
In the 1970’s and 80’s people took pride in their postboxes. They would often be painted, decorated, or fashioned to look like fish or birdhouses. Sometimes, you still see a few today.
As I have been walking around my neighborhood lately, I have noticed that the mailboxes are in disrepair or just security boxes to protect the recipient’s billings. Has the mail become a victim of our society with so many people emailing everything instead of putting stamps on them and electronic bills done online? Last year, most of my holiday cards were received via email rather than something open and hanging on my wall.
Now, I know that email is probably better for the environment, but I still get the thrill when I see the postal carrier pull up the street. I get excited by the idea of my negatives coming back from the developers or packages filled with new film or a camera from Lomography. I chose to get my movie rentals by mail and a few magazine subscriptions as well.
Lately, as the United States Postal Service contemplates closing branches or cutting the number of delivery days per week, I do what I can to support them by mailing birthday cards or getting things sent by mail. The mailbox will still have a place in my heart as I am still I wide-eyed child hoping that there is something in there for me.