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E-mail revolution: Snail mail just can’t compete


May 10, 2002

E-mail is Etion Kapedani’s best friend in the United States, and he feels less lonely because of it.

“I e-mail my relatives in a daily basis,” said Kapedani, who’s from Albania and is a student at St. Norbert College. “It’s easier to keep the relationship with my family and my friends by e-mail and it makes me feel less homesick.

“Instead of talking on the phone or sending them letters all the times, I use my e-mail to communicate.”

As Internet use has grown, e-mail has become an important tool in many people’s lives. Experts and computer users say e-mail costs less and is a convenient, faster alternative to so-called snail mail.

Meanwhile, for those who want to continue the traditional way of corresponding — through the U.S. Postal Service — the cost is about to increase for first-class stamps from 34 cents to 37 cents. The agency is feeling the impact of the switch in loyalties as more and more people become cozy with a computer.

The Brown County Quality of Life Survey, released in March, found that 71 percent of those surveyed said they were part of a household that owned a personal computer — up 6 percent from 2000. That’s also up sharply from the first year of the survey, 1995, when only 33 percent of households owned computers.

The 2000 U.S. Census found that 88 percent of home Internet users sent or received e-mail — a higher usage than for than any other online activity. Among children, 73 percent of those who used the Internet at home used e-mail, the report showed.

St. Norbert College student Jamie Mikula said she checks her e-mail at least 25 times a day.

“I can’t think of the last time I sent a letter (via the post office) because I send e-mail all the time,” Mikula said. “For me e-mail is a fast medium to communicate, even with people that I see on a daily basis.”

Kapedani said there’s a reason why e-mail is replacing traditional ways of sending messages.

“By e-mail you get a response or an answer to an issue or something that might come up faster,” he said. “It’s just the speed … that’s the best feature.”

However, Kapedani said there are important dates, such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays, when e-mail won’t replace snail mail.

“To surprise my girlfriend, I’d rather send it by mail,” he said. “People perceive a letter by hand more personal, and e-mail is a day-to-day business.”

Mary Nigl, customer relations coordinator for the Green Bay Post Office, said although she doesn’t have statistics available, e-mail has made a significant impact on regular mail.

“We are aware that e-mail has taken a bite,” she said. “It’s a fact that more people get online and use e-mail because it’s quicker and you don’t pay extra.”

However, she said e-mail is not one of the main reasons stamps are going up 3 cents June 30.

“It’s the cost of doing business,” Nigl said.

Nigl also said that although e-mail is a faster medium and more cost-effective than regular mail, there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten letter.

“With someone’s hand-writing on a letter, it can never compare to an e-mail,” she said. “There’s something wonderful about receiving a letter from a friend or family member.”

Margaret Bridge, a junior at St. Norbert College, agreed with Nigl and said e-mail is not better than traditional services.

“I think letters are still important, and if it’s a personal thing I’d much rather write a letter,” Bridge said.

While Kapedani agrees that letters might be more personal, he’s forced to use e-mail more often because of the economics of being a college student.

“It’s cheaper and it saves me time and a lot of money because I don’t need to go to the post office and buy stamps,” he said. “The only thing you have to get is a free e-mail account and then you are all set.”

Brian Sutton, associate professor of humanistic studies and English at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said e-mail comes in handy for his purposes, too.

“If a student has a simple, quick question they usually e-mail me with those questions rather than coming to the office,” said Sutton, who receives about 30 e-mails a day from students and teachers at UWGB. “It solves more problems than what it creates.”

Kapedani said although he uses e-mail every day to communicate with his family and friends, he still spends $40 a month talking to them on the phone.

“I have two options,” he said. “I either preserve my relationship with others and go bankrupt, or save money and lose friendship. The e-mail takes care of these two options.”

E-mail is Etion Kapedani’s best friend in the United States, and he feels less lonely because of it.

“I e-mail my relatives in a daily basis,” said Kapedani, who’s from Albania and is a student at St. Norbert College. “It’s easier to keep the relationship with my family and my friends by e-mail and it makes me feel less homesick.

“Instead of talking on the phone or sending them letters all the times, I use my e-mail to communicate.”

As Internet use has grown, e-mail has become an important tool in many people’s lives. Experts and computer users say e-mail costs less and is a convenient, faster alternative to so-called snail mail.

Meanwhile, for those who want to continue the traditional way of corresponding — through the U.S. Postal Service — the cost is about to increase for first-class stamps from 34 cents to 37 cents. The agency is feeling the impact of the switch in loyalties as more and more people become cozy with a computer.

The Brown County Quality of Life Survey, released in March, found that 71 percent of those surveyed said they were part of a household that owned a personal computer — up 6 percent from 2000. That’s also up sharply from the first year of the survey, 1995, when only 33 percent of households owned computers.

The 2000 U.S. Census found that 88 percent of home Internet users sent or received e-mail — a higher usage than for than any other online activity. Among children, 73 percent of those who used the Internet at home used e-mail, the report showed.

St. Norbert College student Jamie Mikula said she checks her e-mail at least 25 times a day.

“I can’t think of the last time I sent a letter (via the post office) because I send e-mail all the time,” Mikula said. “For me e-mail is a fast medium to communicate, even with people that I see on a daily basis.”

Kapedani said there’s a reason why e-mail is replacing traditional ways of sending messages.

“By e-mail you get a response or an answer to an issue or something that might come up faster,” he said. “It’s just the speed … that’s the best feature.”

However, Kapedani said there are important dates, such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays, when e-mail won’t replace snail mail.

“To surprise my girlfriend, I’d rather send it by mail,” he said. “People perceive a letter by hand more personal, and e-mail is a day-to-day business.”

Mary Nigl, customer relations coordinator for the Green Bay Post Office, said although she doesn’t have statistics available, e-mail has made a significant impact on regular mail.

“We are aware that e-mail has taken a bite,” she said. “It’s a fact that more people get online and use e-mail because it’s quicker and you don’t pay extra.”

However, she said e-mail is not one of the main reasons stamps are going up 3 cents June 30.

“It’s the cost of doing business,” Nigl said.

Nigl also said that although e-mail is a faster medium and more cost-effective than regular mail, there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten letter.

“With someone’s hand-writing on a letter, it can never compare to an e-mail,” she said. “There’s something wonderful about receiving a letter from a friend or family member.”

Margaret Bridge, a junior at St. Norbert College, agreed with Nigl and said e-mail is not better than traditional services.

“I think letters are still important, and if it’s a personal thing I’d much rather write a letter,” Bridge said.

While Kapedani agrees that letters might be more personal, he’s forced to use e-mail more often because of the economics of being a college student.

“It’s cheaper and it saves me time and a lot of money because I don’t need to go to the post office and buy stamps,” he said. “The only thing you have to get is a free e-mail account and then you are all set.”

Brian Sutton, associate professor of humanistic studies and English at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said e-mail comes in handy for his purposes, too.

“If a student has a simple, quick question they usually e-mail me with those questions rather than coming to the office,” said Sutton, who receives about 30 e-mails a day from students and teachers at UWGB. “It solves more problems than what it creates.”

Kapedani said although he uses e-mail every day to communicate with his family and friends, he still spends $40 a month talking to them on the phone.

“I have two options,” he said. “I either preserve my relationship with others and go bankrupt, or save money and lose friendship. The e-mail takes care of these two options.”

E-mail is Etion Kapedani’s best friend in the United States, and he feels less lonely because of it.

“I e-mail my relatives in a daily basis,” said Kapedani, who’s from Albania and is a student at St. Norbert College. “It’s easier to keep the relationship with my family and my friends by e-mail and it makes me feel less homesick.

“Instead of talking on the phone or sending them letters all the times, I use my e-mail to communicate.”

As Internet use has grown, e-mail has become an important tool in many people’s lives. Experts and computer users say e-mail costs less and is a convenient, faster alternative to so-called snail mail.

Meanwhile, for those who want to continue the traditional way of corresponding — through the U.S. Postal Service — the cost is about to increase for first-class stamps from 34 cents to 37 cents. The agency is feeling the impact of the switch in loyalties as more and more people become cozy with a computer.

The Brown County Quality of Life Survey, released in March, found that 71 percent of those surveyed said they were part of a household that owned a personal computer — up 6 percent from 2000. That’s also up sharply from the first year of the survey, 1995, when only 33 percent of households owned computers.

The 2000 U.S. Census found that 88 percent of home Internet users sent or received e-mail — a higher usage than for than any other online activity. Among children, 73 percent of those who used the Internet at home used e-mail, the report showed.

St. Norbert College student Jamie Mikula said she checks her e-mail at least 25 times a day.

“I can’t think of the last time I sent a letter (via the post office) because I send e-mail all the time,” Mikula said. “For me e-mail is a fast medium to communicate, even with people that I see on a daily basis.”

Kapedani said there’s a reason why e-mail is replacing traditional ways of sending messages.

“By e-mail you get a response or an answer to an issue or something that might come up faster,” he said. “It’s just the speed … that’s the best feature.”

However, Kapedani said there are important dates, such as Christmas, Easter and birthdays, when e-mail won’t replace snail mail.

“To surprise my girlfriend, I’d rather send it by mail,” he said. “People perceive a letter by hand more personal, and e-mail is a day-to-day business.”

Mary Nigl, customer relations coordinator for the Green Bay Post Office, said although she doesn’t have statistics available, e-mail has made a significant impact on regular mail.

“We are aware that e-mail has taken a bite,” she said. “It’s a fact that more people get online and use e-mail because it’s quicker and you don’t pay extra.”

However, she said e-mail is not one of the main reasons stamps are going up 3 cents June 30.

“It’s the cost of doing business,” Nigl said.

Nigl also said that although e-mail is a faster medium and more cost-effective than regular mail, there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten letter.

“With someone’s hand-writing on a letter, it can never compare to an e-mail,” she said. “There’s something wonderful about receiving a letter from a friend or family member.”

Margaret Bridge, a junior at St. Norbert College, agreed with Nigl and said e-mail is not better than traditional services.

“I think letters are still important, and if it’s a personal thing I’d much rather write a letter,” Bridge said.

While Kapedani agrees that letters might be more personal, he’s forced to use e-mail more often because of the economics of being a college student.

“It’s cheaper and it saves me time and a lot of money because I don’t need to go to the post office and buy stamps,” he said. “The only thing you have to get is a free e-mail account and then you are all set.”

Brian Sutton, associate professor of humanistic studies and English at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said e-mail comes in handy for his purposes, too.

“If a student has a simple, quick question they usually e-mail me with those questions rather than coming to the office,” said Sutton, who receives about 30 e-mails a day from students and teachers at UWGB. “It solves more problems than what it creates.”

Kapedani said although he uses e-mail every day to communicate with his family and friends, he still spends $40 a month talking to them on the phone.

“I have two options,” he said. “I either preserve my relationship with others and go bankrupt, or save money and lose friendship. The e-mail takes care of these two options.”

By Jose de Jesus. Copyright © 2002 to Gannett Wisconsin Online


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