One of the things outstanding from my Post-Spring Clean is four bags of papers.
All of these papers have, at one point or another, come through my letter box. The reason they’re still in bags is because I’ve already shredded three other bags and have no more room in my recycling bin, and that’s kind of the reason I’ve been giving myself for the last decade or so.
I’ve found all sorts, from university bank statements to a returns slip for two red dresses I ordered for a friend.
The reason it’s not all gone straight in the bin (other than it’s all paper can be recycled) is that it all has my name and a address on it and I’ve been brought up to be concerned about identity theft. I would say that the vast majority also has some form of bank account details on it, or they’re credit card statements, tax forms, letters about my pension…
It’s not all stuff that I need and, in a lot of cases, I hadn’t even read it when it arrived and I can’t really say that I missed it. Yet it still arrived, alongside multiple letters from Vodafone offering me broadband I can’t get, or quarterly catalogues for shirts that I don’t need to replace that often, or the charities I support asking for more money.
Why, in the modern developed world, is post still a thing? In the case of banking documents, they should just all be online. They’re the easy ones though.
Delivery notes should not still need to include so much detail that a person can be linked on one piece of paper to what they’ve purchased and where it has been delivered, with some reference to the payment details. A reference number that can be looked up at the vendor end should be enough.
Promotional items are pushing us to buy things we don’t need and I realise that that’s classic marketing, but it could be done my e-mail if it needs to be done at all. That said, I recently also got rid of 1000 unread e-mails in my personal account. The problem there is that I get so much I don’t want, I sometimes miss what I need. It’s hard to see the wood for the trees.
When did we get in to over communication in this sort of area? Why do I need so much mail?