What do your family & friends think about Postcrossing?

When you tell your friends and family about your hobby of sending postcards to strangers around the world, what is their first response?

When I reactivated my account this year, my husband was not exactly thrilled about our address being made available to strangers, but he is happy to support my habit nonetheless. (For our first anniversary, he gave me eight sheets of stamps!) He still teases me about my “tiny mail,” all in good fun. :laughing:

And I have convinced a couple of friends to sign up themselves, as a friend once convinced me!

So, what about your friends and family? Do they love the idea, or do they just need more convincing? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My husband isn’t really into it, but he’s very sweet in that he’ll take me to the post office on our way home from work or will drop postcards off himself. My mom is interested in cards from places where she lived or that she has visited. Otherwise, people are mostly indifferent. I showed a coworker a card I was writing, where I explained the history of our flag, and she said “only you would think of writing something like that” :joy: so I guess Postcrossing isn’t for everyone :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My Mom thought it was pretty cool, and even signed herself up and exchanged postcards for a little while.

My hubby buys me lots of postcards from his travels (very kind, and I like them a lot, but few people want cards that are not from country of origin). He also helps me read the cards written in Russian.

My daughter helps with cards written in French, but mostly just humors me.

One friend was interested enough to sign up and is now a pretty enthusiastic Postcrosser, but everyone else kind of looks at me like I’m a trainspotter or something. (Which is also a perfectly fine hobby!)

The one reaction I don’t understand is folks who fear a random stranger halfway across the world knowing their mailing address. What do they think will happen?


I would say most of my family and friends just humor me or tell me it’s a terribly old fashioned thing to do.


My family already think I’m crazy, so hardly any reaction there :rofl:.


I’d say my family & friends are intrigued & some are impressed when I tell them all the countries I’m sending to & receiving from.

I got one family signed up as a result of a conversation with them about PC.

People seem to understand the appeal of snail mail more right now with the pandemic. I’m also sending out postcards to friends & family of cool past photos of us of all & they get a kick out of that too.


Some friends and both my sisters got accounts themselves, one of my sisters is still active and yesterday told me that she wrote 29 cards at once after a long hiatus. :smiley:
My mother would love to do Postcrossing, but she doesn’t speak English and I’m not around anymore to help her.

My boyfriend thinks it’s hilarious that I’m with “old ladies”, even though there are quite many Postcrossers who aren’t and also that’s not a bad thing. :smiley: But he still points out to me when he sees a postcard rack and asks if I want to get some, very sweet.
Another friend likes to go through my received cards stash and likes to look at the animal cards I get.
When I was a teenager, teachers/supervisors found it great, as they said it’d help my English and give me a nice hobby. :slight_smile:


First of all, heeeey, West Side neighbor! :wave: I suspect that this is a general, knee-jerk reaction to the idea of sharing one’s address with a stranger, which is understandable (even if your home address is publicly available anyway). Keeping one’s home address a relative secret is so ingrained in us that we immediately reject the notion before even considering where the person who will receive our address is located. Regardless of what could happen, it makes some people uneasy, which is why the FAQ section recommends using a PO box if people have safety concerns.

…they’re not wrong, I guess. :joy: But…there are a lot of things that are “old-fashioned” and also widely considered to be enjoyable. Board games are literally thousands of years old, and we’re still playing them today! Tell those people it’s not old-fashioned: it’s timeless. :relieved:

This was my incentive to start Postcrossing again. A physical card or gift in the mail, no matter how simple, has a kind of magic that you can’t replicate with a Zoom call or a text. It’s a nice complement to the ways we stay connected digitally.

Currently, almost 65% of Postcrossers prefer female pronouns, so he’s 65% correct about that part. :laughing: I wonder what the average age of users is, though–there seems to be a wide range of ages involved. I’ve drawn so many profiles of people in their teens and twenties lately that I suspect I’m the old lady. :grimacing:


You definitely don’t count as an old lady! :grin: Anyway, one is as young as one feels, right?

1 Like

I don’t remember my family being surprised at all, but then again I and my sister had already done quite lot of penpaling before I discovered Postcrossing so it was more like natural continuation. My sister and mom also did Postcrossing for a while, and I very often get postcards and stamps as gifts. People seems to really love to gift me stamps. I think it is because it is fun to shop them, it is not the usual gift so it feels more special, and they know I will definitely use the stamps.

With friends it has been mix of confusion and “oh, I do that too.” Finnish friends mostly know Postcrossing already. It is still popular there and used to be even more popular so many have an idea what it is about. Swedish friends are mostly confused about why I would ever just send things to strangers, but I think they have got used to see me doing my weekly trip to the mail box with all the mail I am sending so they are not asking anymore. People often are curiously interested on my stamp collections and huge pile of cards, when they come over for a visit!

My best friend, who is Canadian, seemed to first be uncomfortable about the idea of giving out my address to strangers in regular basic, but nowadays she asks now and then how the swaps are going, and I keep her up to date with all the Canadian cards I get. We are still waiting for the card from Nova Scotia to arrive as so far most have been from Ontario, for her disappointment.


My husband is supportive. He likes seeing the postcards that come in too. He will look for postcards for me when he travels alone, he goes to the post office for/with me, and he’s even gone to Postcrossing meetups!

Other people seem to think it’s weird but generally harmless.


In @meiadeleite’s interview below, she talks about how a large number of members are young - not sure what the % would be though


My sister introduced me to postcrossing. :smiley: And once in a while checks on me see how I’m going. :smiley:

Otherwise my family is not really interested. Hubby supports me and sometimes curiously tries to read cards (tssss) but that’s about it.
I suspect (? hope) the kids will be more interested when they’re a bit older. :smiley:


My boyfriend finds it interesting and cute. I always share what postcards I’ve received and tell him about the person who wrote it. He sometimes also helps me with ideas what to write or which postcard to pick when he sees me sitting down and getting buried in my stationary items - just not so long ago I drew an address from his home country (Poland) and he was very excited to help me! I put my received postcards on a wall and he seems to enjoy them as a decoration. Although, I have to say that giving me a side eye when I keep bringing home newly bought unwritten postcards and my stash of cards to send keeps growing is quite a frequent thing now :grin:


When I say my hobby is Postcrossing people usually say to me “what’s that?” My mother loves collecting my postcards from the PO Box and my whole family will usually have a look at the cards I receive. My family and friends will often think of me when traveling and bring me back postcards. My friends will often ask am I still Postcrossing and how’s it going, especially with COVID. Sometimes I even have postcards for other people placed in my PO Box, I am thinking this may be because I get so many. I simply return them to the post office to be redirected.


Oh and I just remembered that he’s always very excited when he can help me translate writing into Bosnian! Happened a few times in the last months. :blush:

1 Like

I learned about Postcrossing from a friend, so of course she totally gets this hobby - although I think she secretly thinks I’m overdoing things a bit. :grin: I don’t think I’ve ever had a negative reaction about Postcrossing from anyone, but I don’t discuss it with people on a daily basis. :wink: One friend once gave me a stack of ad cards he’d collected, but mostly they don’t get involved. I don’t believe any of them would be as excited as me if I told them about the super cool Commonwealth Games PHQ card I received recently - with matching stamp, too! :rofl:

My mother is always so interested in my postcards that I have asked her if she didn’t want to join herself, but no. But she often brings me cards from her travels or trips and she even kind of knows what will be useful to me - for example she doesn’t buy viewcards in different countries (only from other parts of Germany), but she got me cards of the Swedish royals from her trip to Stockholm and Beatles cards when she was in Liverpool. Her partner tells me that she is always on the lookout for a postcard rack and can spend a long time picking out cards for me - my mother really is wonderful! :heart: My aunt once gave me a postcard set and my uncle tried to make a bit of fun of me when I explained the hobby to him and said that you can exchange postcards with the whole world. I think the didn’t believe it would be that impressive and asked for the most far-away or exotic country I’d received postcards from - Saint Martin, Greenland and Laos kind of shut him up. :stuck_out_tongue:


I often get puzzled looks when I explain postcrossing and tell that I write oneway cards with strangers. :smiley:
My friends and family thinks it´s interesting but not so interesting that they would join themself. But I often get cards for postcrossing from them and questions about what cards I get, and of course I´m happy to tell something.

Recently I get lots of Bingo cards and that was a little too much for my parents to unterstand… I try to explain, no this is not a official Postcrossing card, it´s because I had 50 countries in a bingo…


My father wasn’t happty about sharing our address with strangers, so he wanted to make me stop because of that.
But on the other hand, he was kind of supportive. For instance if I needed to get some stamps for the postcards, I could write the stamp cost in the corner of the postcard, put it in a plastic bag with the correct amount of money and hand it over to the mail carrier. Then my father would happyily hand that over to the mail woman for me. (We lived in a really rural area then, and the local store didn’t have a lot of stamps… And we got to know the mail lady, and she accepted getting unstamped postcards and cash.)

My nephew did get postcards from me every now and then before, which I mainly gave him by sending them in the mail! I haven’t been good at sending him postcards lately, though. He loved getting postcards! Once I was on the phone with my sister when my nephew and brother-in-law came home. They had picked up the mail on their way home, and found a large postcard from me. I heard a door opening and then my nephew shouted in a very excited voice “Mummy!!! I’ve got a postcard from auntie!!!” :grin: :heart_eyes:

My brother-in-law has said he’s glad I’m sending the postcards to my nephew and that he thinks it’s important that those postcards are kept and not thrown away.


My partner says it’s “cute” :woman_shrugging:t2: and he enjoys my “enthusiasm”, like the daily trip downstairs to check my mail (when working from home) or the checking every time I come home if I’ve been out, or me having to check every shop for postcards - I think I looked at gift shops a lot before anyway, and I always sent a couple of postcards from every trip anyway.

My mum is kind of indifferent, I had a lot of penpals when I was growing up so it just feels like it’s back to that era (I have not lived with my parents while I’ve been on Postcrossing, only for short periods). She used to receive postcards from every trip I took anyway, but nowadays she is much more into fridge magnets so I save the postcard money and buy a magnet instead.
(Oh wow, remember travelling? Funny that :joy:)

…I have not mentioned it to many other people, either it never really came up or I don’t feel like explaining or I think in a couple of cases I tried but they weren’t really listening. A few times I got a “cool!” but I think the person forgot about it a minute afterwards. A friend who used to be into penpalling and always sends postcards from holidays (and receives them from me regularly) seemed intrigued and said she’ll look into it but I don’t think she did, she is very busy anyway. But when I last visited her just for a weekend she kindly helped me posting two cards as I didn’t have time before leaving, we took a day trip on the Sunday where I bought cards and stamps but my flight was early on Monday. (yes airports have mailbox but rather than looking for it she kindly posted them).

Once a friend was very excited because she had reserved a book in the library which was coming from another library in the same city, she found it amazing that the book had to travel :woman_shrugging:t2: :thinking: So I told her about my cards coming from wherever and she seemed a bit impressed, but that was it :joy: