Trends and services come and go. Sometimes they reappear. Take Light Rail Transit (LRT for short) as an example. Back in the early 1900s LRT became popular. Using light electric rail to move people through cities was a brilliant idea. Electricity had made the idea more practical. As time went on cars became more accessible and common. The idea of LRT slowly faded away in all but some of the largest cities. Now that cars are even more popular and roads are clogged LRT is making a bit of a comeback.
Other popular items have not been so lucky. The telegraph line went obsolete as telephone service became more reliable. Sail boats, which once made galley ships obsolete, became obsolete themselves for everything other than recreation. Which brings me to postal services. What is to happen to them over the next 20-30 years.
Currently in Canada the workers at our postal service, Canada Post, are on strike. They seem to go on strike every few years or so. The older I get the less I care or even notice. Like I am sure all of you, I have taken advantage of advancements in the internet to take care of needs once taken care of through the mail. My bills are paid online, all paperless. I just log in, see how much I owe and pay. My pay from work is direct deposited. I no longer subscribe to magazines, just go on web pages. There is nothing I really need the mail for. I honestly cannot even remember the last time I even sent a letter through the mail.
Most people do not actually need the mail. Those who still use it regularly do so because they are more comfortable with the mail than the modern alternative. Oddly, unlike the switch to cars from LRT, the more the postal services die the better it is for the government. Not having trucks, planes and jeeps hauling tons of paper (made from trees) around only helps the environment. A fact I like to bring up to every old hippie who whines about the fact people do not write letters anymore.
The postal workers are fighting an uphill battle here. They are depending on a dying service for their career. The computer has already made the typewriter obsolete. Sitting on the chopping block now are music CDs and DVD rental stores. Postal services will probably be next on that chopping block. Probably followed by cable TV. . . . .