Death Of The Mailbox


    By Shane Maloy


    It’s not a hidden fact our society likes technology and we use it now more than ever.  Samsung reports higher sales than ever before and it doesn’t seem to be letting up soon.  More and more, people prefer to view, share and create content on mobile devices and we’re becoming more interactive with that content.



    Even take broadcasts these days.  We are seeing more success in “underground” content (radio or talk) online than we ever have before.  I’d take that further and say that people are preferring the channels of delivering music and talk online than traditional over air means because of the increase in choices and availability that services like Spotify or podcasts offer consumers.



    With the increase of people sharing breaking news online from the convenience of their smartphones through Twitter, our reliance on news stations is dwindling quickly.  Some of those news organizations have seen this trend and began offering “online exclusive” content which personally I think is a smart way to stay with the times.



    But I’m sure after this whole long spiel, you guys are looking for what’s in the subject line… well here’s my point:



    We don’t need the mail anymore.



    It’s sad but true.  Through all of the activities described above, our reliance on the good old fashion mailbox and mailman (or mailwoman) just isn’t needed anymore.



    With the USPS’s announcement of canceling Saturday delivery starting later this year, even the service which deliveries those birthday cards in the mail realizes their eventual demise.



    After hearing the news, I began to talk with a few friends and co-workers about what could really take place of the mail?  And of course, services will always exist to move things from one place to the other, but like the USPS pointed out, people don’t send social items in the mail anymore.  Instead, they are sending those birthday wishes via Facebook or even giving them a present of an online giftcard!



    A few weeks pass by, and the question was still in the back of my head… What service/product could truly replace the mail.  Then, while browsing Twitter… I think I found the answer:  Outbox.



    A service which for now is only available in San Francisco serves to be the $5/month product to make your mail available online.  You can visit their site for all the glorious details but here is the outline:



    Sign up, then, a wonderful anti mailman (I’m not sure what they call themselves) come and collect your mail right out of your mailbox or request a forward from the postal service.  Your mail is then securely scanned and made available online and via mobile applications.  You are then able to browse through your mail from anywhere!  Next, you select which pieces you want to archive, which you want to delete (shred) or which ones you actually want to see in person.  If you mark that you want to see it, they will deliver it the next time they are in the area!



    Crazy idea huh?  Now my initial reaction was this was a very lazy approach to not wanting to walk to the end of the driveway. After deeper consideration, I think services like this, which takes a daily task that requires you to be in a physical location, and makes that task accessible anywhere will truly be the direction of the future.



    We may be moving in a positive direction to creating a more productive and accessible world, however, until Outbox comes to your hometown, I guess you’ll have to still keep checking the mail.



    Shane is a audiophile and designer from Orlando FL. He started on his first website design project at 15 years old, and has fallen deeper in love ever since. He’s a writer, musician, technology freak and loves quality time with those he loves.