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We live in a digital world, which means that more and more our interactions with each other have become digital. Whether you WhatsApp, skype, email or Snapchat, the majority of us now interact with friends, relatives and strangers across a screen. But despite the ease of which we communicate with each other, there is still that thrill of receiving a personal card or letter in the mailbox. One which has made a journey from across the ocean right to your door.
If you find yourself longing for that type of personal connection, then the website Postcrossing may be for you.
Launched in 2005 by Paulo Magalhães, Postcrossing is an online gathering of mail lovers who signed up to send and receive postcards from each other. As of 2020, Postcrossing has almost 800,000 members spread across 215 countries and regions around the world.
Sending and receiving
So, how does it work? The premise is simple: for each postcard you send, you will get one back. After signing up, users can request an address of another member to send them a card.
The first step is to request to send a postcard. The website will display and send the member an email with the address of another postcrosser and a postcard ID which uniquely identifies that postcard in the system. The member then mails a postcard to that postcrosser and writes the postcard ID on it. The postcrosser receives the postcard and registers it using the postcard ID that is on the postcard. At this point, the sender is eligible to receive a postcard from a different postcrosser.
"I think Postcrossing brings the world closer and helps us understand each other more. And with all the negativity there is in the world, this is something that — if it brings people closer and makes people smile — is always a good thing."
As a member, you are encouraged to create a short profile piece for yourself, which is visible to the postcrosser who requested an address. This will tell the person a little bit more about you and you can even request certain types of postcards.
Initially, each member can have up to five postcards travelling at any time. Every time one of the sent postcards is registered, that postcrosser can request another address. The number of postcards allowed to travel at any single time goes up the more postcards a member sends and stops at 100. The catch is that the postcrossing system allows for the same two members to exchange postcards only once. By default, members will exchange postcards with countries other than their own.
Sign up for Postcrossing by visiting the website and start sending postcards today.