It seems the ultimate anachronism – collecting stamps in the Internet age. These are times, after all, when the most traditional and perhaps emotionally poignant, method of communication, the letter, has been branded ‘snail-mail’ thanks to the rise of email and social media.
But, of course, it isn’t an anachronism at all. Truth is, thousands of stamps are issued worldwide every year. More pertinently, stamps still stand as masters of historical and social commentary. And it is this link through the ages that retains a fascination for millions.
The Internet is the modern ally of the stamp collector
It could be an arduous task, sourcing and selling stamps. Not now. The Internet has created a trusted world of individuals and dealers. A stamp can be found at the click of a mouse and the veracity of its seller double-checked against those who have used them before.
We also now have a remarkable array of phones and tablets which reveal the intense and majestic artwork of stamp design in all its glory. If anything, the Internet has magnified the beauty and purpose of stamp collecting. It has allowed philatelists the world over to become one big community.
Reengaging with what matters
An offshoot of the digital world is that a mild weariness with all things technological is actually reconnecting us with the ‘real’ world. Printed mail is actually on the comeback trail, for example, as people realise they are being lost in a sea of emails. The post offered a personal touch, and that’s what stamps offer too – for users and collectors alike.
Stamp collecting is alive and well
We may not be talking boys in short trousers swapping their finds with their mates, but the Internet has delivered wider acknowledgement of a fascinating and historically informative pastime. There’s life in the postie’s legs yet!