How long is average postcrosser's lifetime?

Probably I shouldn’t use a word such as lifetime. Since I’ve read the blog “Who are the postcrossers?”, I start wondering, can we give a statistics of each country members’ average PC lifetime.

How to calculate a member’s play time? I think that usually a member who doesn’t logged in longer than 3 months can be considered a dead-id. I know this is not accurate, but in someway it is a practical statistic number.

Other than average lifetime. I also want to know how many “Active members” of each country. And I have an interesting in how or why a member stop postcrossing? e.g. marriage, graduate? changing job or simply lost motivation?


I have found in the short time I’ve been a Postcrosser that an amazing number of people who had not been active for a while officially (in some cases years) have become active again. Perhaps due to the pandemic & that some of us have more time on our hands or for other reasons.

And I say “hadn’t been active officially” because some people choose to do direct swaps more frequently than they send or receive official postcards.


Looking at my stats, I have left three times. First I had a difficult time at home. Then I moved country and got busy with life. The third time I had a baby.


I’ve been a member since 2007, but there have been occasions I have taken long breaks. My most recent break was about 6 years. This site has been around a long time and peoples’ lives change or get in the way! I do see it as one a lot come back to, especially if they were letter writers as children.


I joined November 2006 and had some pretty large gaps…

Note that the statistics for sent cards are skewed because sent cards are not counted the month I sent them but the month they arrived.

Initial euphoria quickly faded, as things were really slow (at the time newbies were allowed even less cards travelling at the same time than now). At the same time I got more responsibilities at work, so time and energy for hobbies faded. I gave it another try, then paused for a few years. When I restarted in 2009, I found a new job in a different city, a big step upwards in my career, so there was a lot less time and a lot less energy. Also my hobby interest shifted away from stamps and postcards towards beer coasters, bottle caps, Starbucks mugs, tickets and the (for me) new area of gift cards. I was traveling a lot and lived abroad (India and Croatia) for several years, but besides a few postcards that I sent to my family, I have not bought any postcards in these almost 10 years, though I have gift cards, coins, tickets, crown caps and beer coasters from India, Croatia and the USA. In 2015 I took a new job which was a step down, so reduce my stress level. That allowed more time for hobbies and for the girlfriend who had caught me in the meantime. :wink: Also my interest for postcards returned, but I had totally forgotten about Postcrossing. Then in 2018 I saw a feature on TV about a German Postcrosser who had received a few thousand cards. That brought back the memory, I tried to log in, which still worked, and I’ve been active ever since. :smiley: After a while, I discovered the forum, the RRs there and also the Postcrossing Meet-ups. When I noticed that I get much better results for my collection (I only collect tourist view cards and meet-up cards) from RRs and swaps than from official Postcrossing cards, I reduced my activity on official cards and did more RRs. COVID-19 and the lockdowns haven’t had an impact on my postcard activity except for havng issues finding suitable cards online, especially view cards from my area are almost impossible to find online. The peak at the end of 2020 is due to the charity “Cards for Literacy” of German Post and Postcrossing where I used all my 14 slots and sent new cards each time a card was registered. Due to the skewed sent statistics you can’t see that I haven’t sent any official cards in 2021 yet. That may only change in March… But I’m very active in RRs, maybe a bit too much… :wink:


I joined in 2018 and sent a couple postcards at that time, but the whole thing wasn’t that interesting to me yet. I have always been more interested in sending letters to pen pals in hopes of getting a reply. Then I started working in my master’s degree while teaching English full time, so I was very busy for a year or two. I have recently gotten seriously into Postcrossing because I now have a bigger living space to store my crafts. I wish I hadn’t stopped as soon as I created an account, but I just don’t think the time was right. I can’t wait until I finally get 100+ cards sent, though!


As for @shugal, a new romance carried me away for a long time! :laughing: (We’re married now.) The monotony of Covid-19 quarantining was my impetus to restart.

@RainWang, I like your suggestion of “playtime” as opposed to “lifetime”!


Just hit 10 years (yesterday), and here is my chart:

Both large breaks had to do with moving/address instability. There are a lot of other smaller move-related breaks in there, but since they’re shorter, they barely show up on the compressed timeline.


I have been around more or less 4.5 years and never took a break. Probably the longest I went without sending was 3-4 weeks? I send comparatively little, but steadily, e.g. 1-2 cards every 1-2-3 weeks, a bit more lately as my life is more stable.

In those 4.5 years I changed 3 jobs and 3 cities, including one in another continent.

Prior to that, I spent about 10 years without doing much correspondence, only the occasional postcard to friends and family, until I discovered Postcrossing. In my younger years, I had regular penpals. So Postcrossing gave me an excuse to go back to it.

And yes, a lot of people seem to have gone back to it during the pandemic, I guess because they don’t have much else to do. I do wonder if they will stick around…


I’ve been reasonably active except for a short period when we traveled overseas for 8 weeks and then again when my father was terminally ill and I was looking after him. My daughter has not been active for a couple of years but fully intends to jump back on board at some point. Cost of postage is keeping her off for now.


If I look at my activity it looks like a series of outbursts, ups and downs for 10 years. As I remember I was being on and off, sometimes losing interest, moving three times, but penpals kept sending me postcards, so I never was without my little cartons of joy, even with no official activity. The only truly inactive phase when I had a baby recently. I used postcrossing more when I felt down, like when my grandma died or bad breakups or troubles at work as I believe it helps to deal with light depression.

Now my profile(s) are inactive again, but I continue to do swaps and tags, and still receive and send postcards on site, I guess you need to be inactive for more than 3 months indeed to see it on statistics


So I was inactive in 2017 on the main site but I always kept writing RAS cards and going to meetups.

If my Postcrossing activity was my EKG, I’d be in trouble! I tend to drop out every few years, usually because there’s something else going on that takes up my time.


Lots of ups and downs. Always very active in December. It really depends on my forum activity… which is the opposite way. If there was a possibility to combine official + unofficials it would be a lot steadier!


I like to see everyone’s fever curve!

Despite moving multiple times, I have always sent cards - but you can tell when I changed back from inactive to active by the sudden spike in received cards. Longer absences from home did the same trick.

I am not sure if there is a way to calculate such thing as the average postcrosser’s live span. Some turn into “ghostcrossers”, others delete their profile …

Would the lady of postcrossing stats @meiadeleite know?


The lady of Postcrossing stats… I’m not sure I deserve the moniker, but I like it! :yellow_heart:

Everyone’s “Postcrossing ECG” is unique, and averaging things out would not give an accurate picture of the whole. Many, many postcrossers come back after taking long breaks — last year especially, we’ve seen lots of people reactivating their inactive accounts during the pandemic.

Every single day, we have people trying to retrieve access to an account they’ve had years ago, whose email address no longer works. Often people’s lives change and they have to care for elderly relatives, or focus on their jobs, or they just have to put their time elsewhere… Postcrossing is old enough that we have members who start doing it in high school in their English classroom, have a long break and then come back after they’ve had kids themselves! And one of the German postcrossers who won one of this year’s December campaign prizes is someone who only comes to the website in December every year, to send postcards for a good cause — they’ve been doing this for a number of years.

All of this to say, we know Postcrossing is not something most people do continuously and forever… whatever works for you, works for us. :slight_smile:


I started when I was studying in other city to fill a little bit my free time. Then I moved back in my hometown, I did continue for a while but I became more interested in other things.
Oh how naive I was back then!
I got my first proper job, tried to find myself, growing up to be a responsible adult and adulting in general. All kind of things came across and this hobby was forgotten.

But then I found it again. I can’t remember how but I did find the passion for Postcrossing. Finding and buying cards, stickers, washis and stamps. I’m much more mature with this now :blush: I have found friends, community, Forum, tag games, the meet-ups… Being a Postcrosser has been a wonderful journey and a necessary one to find and be who I’m nowadays.


Here is mine:

I had a very long hiatus from 2014 to 2020, as I stopped due to financial reasons. Then when we went into lockdown in 2020 due to COVID-19, I picked up Postcrossing again, and I realised how much I missed sending mail like this. It’s gaining traction again, and now I’m financially more stable as a working adult (I started off when I was a student), so here’s to more postcards, and more forum activities! :grin:


Happened to me the same. I left in 2014, after having my daughter.
Then came back in 2016, but left again until end of last year, due economical reasons and probably lack of interest too.

Here I am, trying to come back to the hobby with baby steps. 2 or 3 cards per months.


Quite interesting how almost everyone has a long break at least once, which is also the case with me. I started while I was a student and didn’t really have means to travel but really wanted to see the world, so postcrossing provided a perfect avenue for that. I then stopped for about 10 years due to life getting a bit more hectic with university studies (and probably also because I started travelling individually by this point). No idea what the spike in 2012 was about.

What with the recent pandemic I was once again unable to travel overseas, so I came back to Postcrossing, with a renewed passion. :heart_eyes: :postcard: