Metro-East News

Receiving mail isn’t what it used to be. Take my computer, please!


It has always been popular for older people like myself to constantly say, “Things aren’t what they used to be.”

It also almost always is true. Take mail for instance.

It used to be fun to get mail. Especially when you were young. It was an affirmation that you existed as a person separate from your parents to see your name on a piece of mail. That elation changed, of course, as you got older and the bills started coming to you.

Through the years things have changed even more. Getting mail these days means separating out the junk mail and adding it to the recycling, often leaving nothing to actually read.

It’s disappointing in a way but it’s also liberating because more than likely anything that is important is coming to you on your computer. Companies don’t even send me a bill anymore, just a notice saying they have been in my bank account and taken what they needed.

And if there isn’t enough money in there, the bank automatically loans me what I need and begins billing me.

2020 Wally Spiers

I’m needed to set everything in motion but after a couple of signatures and a few passwords and user names, everything runs on automatic.

Money comes as deposits and leaves as payments on the computer without any physical form. The check is no longer in the mail, it is in the email as a direct deposit. You can still tell someone demanding a late payment that the check is in the mail but it rings even more hollow than it used to.

Of course, it shows my age that I even talk about checks anymore as they are an archaic system of payment these days.

As you get older your mail changes to circulars about hearing aids, digestive products and investment opportunities. Or literature about Medicare. You can’t help but become aware that you are going to die because everyday you get some kind of a notice offering you burial services, or as they euphemistically put it, “assuring your future,” which after all is to someday die.

I guess one of the upsides is that you can use that time that you no longer need to open and look at snail mail to scroll through the hundreds of emails that collect each week in your inbox. At least my computer sorts out the junk mail and sends it where I don’t even have to look at it to delete it.

Things definitely aren’t what they used to be. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Probably both. But that’s what we older people always say.