What question did your friends ask when you introduce postcrossing to them?

I often introduce postcrossing to my friends, they usually show an interest in it.
But you should know that most people in China seldom or never send postcards. So there are many basic questions for me to answer, such as “where to send a postcard?”
Most questions can be found in postcrossing’s FAQ, but some are unique. Here are some:

  1. Do you know who is the recipient? Are you friends?
  2. If you don’t know the recipients, why do you send a postcard to them?

That’s all. If your friend asked some unique questions about postcrossing, post them here :slight_smile:

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Hello

I wondered, If so few people send postcards in China, why are there so many beautiful postcards available there? I have received many cards from China that don’t appear to be available in other countries,

Emma x

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People usually ask me how does someone send real mail because they don’t know how it works (stamps, how to write address and where, etc). :joy: You would think I’m the world specialist of snail-mail or something. :joy:

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Why???

And then: Why would you? It is so slow? What do you write?

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The first question is almost always: Why? Why do you send cards when there’s email, WhatsApp and Facetime?
Second question is quite often: What on earth are you writing to someone you don’t even know?
I have big fun answering those questions.

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Yes, what to write? I am always surprised by that question. I mean, they whatsapp, facetime and speak to people in person. What do they talk about then?? I do that in my letters. :grin:

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The main thing I’ve had trouble explaining to people is that the person you get a card from is not the person you sent a card too — it seems that in my world people can understand the concept of a penpal match, but not so much a random one-off match :sweat_smile:

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I tend to talk in stories, so when I explain Postcrossing, I usually say something like,

"So, you request an address, and let’s say, Colin Firth is a member and you get his address and postcard ID US-123. You put US-123 on your card, address it to him, add the postage, write a message, and mail it. Colin gets your card, logs onto Postcrossing, tells the system he got card US-123, and your address goes into the system.

Then, maybe Nicole Kidman is on Postcrossing, too, and she decides to write a postcard. She gets your address and sends you a postcard with ID AU-789. When you get it, you log on and tell Postcrossing you got card AU-789 and Nicole can get a postcard from someone."

Usually, my friends say something like, “I’ll REALLY get a postcard from NICOLE KIDMAN?!?!?!?!?!” and I have to explain that I was just making a point and as far as I know, neither Colin Firth nor Nicole Kidman are members of Postcrossing.

(My apologies if I they are and I’m wrong.)

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Hi EmmaG
I think this is a good question.
First, In fact, China is a big country with 1.4 billion people. Even if there are only 1/14 Chinese users(in fact, there are only 71849, fewer than 1/14), the number of Chinese users will exceed the population of certain countries. That’s why Chinese postcrossing users is not very more, but you can still receive many nice postcard from China.
Second, as I mentioned before, there are only 71849 postcrossing users in (Mainland) China, even fewer than those in Taiwan. That’s why I say there are not many people send postcards in China.
These words may not be rigorous because not all postcard enthusiasts use postcrossing, but postcards are indeed a niche hobby in China. A postcard enthusiast told me, “I rarely see children coming to the post office to send postcards.”
I’m only 16 years old now.

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Why? Is probably the most asked question I get. But I haven’t been successful in recruiting them into participating in Postcrossing.

They are impressed with the amount of postcards I’ve received and the beauty of them and the postage stamps.

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Thank you @xiaopangju :blush: x

When I introduce the idea of postcrossing to my friend, he ask me “Do you only write to grandmas?”

It was quite funny to me since I find that there is a lot of young people in postcrossing too :laughing: My mum also told me “You will receive a message back a year later” :rofl:

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“How often should you send those cards? Every day?”

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Your mum is obviously familiar with AusPost :sweat_smile:

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Friend: Are you serious? Do you go to the mailbox every time you leave the building? What’s the point of this…?
He didn’t have time to finish, because I jumped up on one leg with an postcard one in my hands. There are no more questions.

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Most people I’ve spoken to about Postcrossing express very little interest in it. Some think it’s a cute little hobby. It’s more than that in my opinion. Some people think it’s like a penpalship. I describe it as more of a one-way train, where you pass on love and goodwill to one person, and they pass it on to the next person. One person asked how I knew so many people. He couldn’t understand the concept of sending postcards to strangers. Tried to explain it to him, but some people just cannot (or will not) grasp the concept of sending postcards to strangers “for no reason.” Well, there is a reason: to spread love, goodwill, kindness, joy, etc. I derive great joy out of reading profiles and trying to find a card that closely matches their wishes. It’s hard to express this to others, who think sending postcards is just a frivolous, cute hobby. It’s way way more than that. Some people just don’t want to see beyond the surface of things.

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I’ve heard
“Why?”
“Do people in Southern Finland haven’t heard of e-mail?”
“So… You seriously send cards to strange people?”

I have sometimes told people I rather receive beautiful postcards from strangers around world than one bill in every third month - they usually admit it sounds funnier. Also, as I worked at local mail sorting centre, sometimes I just said I like to give my beloved colleagues job to do :laughing:

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Fascinating thread! :smile:

It made me realise that I have only talked about Postcrossing to a few friends that are my age (fifties) so they remember and are familiar with ‘real post’ and how it works.

So I never really had to explain much about how Postcrossing worked, apart from the ‘random stranger chosen by algorithm’ part! The main reaction has been fascination and reminiscence about sending real post. :laughing: I never had to explain how the algorithm actually works because in my peer group, ‘algorithm’ stands for ‘random techie weirdness we will never understand’! :joy:

Mostly, I have been asked “…so what’s the point?”
Me: “Fun”.
Them: “Oh, yes, of course! :crazy_face::smile:

After I told her about Postcrossing, a friend did buy me a postcard and leave it on my desk at work. (We work at the same place). So I sent her one back to her home address through real mail and she loved it! :smile:

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“People still send postcards?” is the most common question, asked in befuddled amazement.

Another friend thought it was like those chain letters we used to always get back in the day. the ones where you would mail out 30 letters and get exactly zero back :joy:

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They say cautiously: “That´s interesting.”
Then they look at me like I have lost my mind.

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