Deutsche Post AG - Discover the world through letters
Is traditional letter-writing via "snail mail" a lost art? Are envelopes and stamps obsolete? The German post office, Deutsche Post AG, doesn't think so, and they have Letternet _with over 250,000 members in more than 100 countries_ to prove it! Deutsche Post would like you to "discover the world through letters" and they've set up a Letternet website (in German and English) to help you do that. According to the Letternet website, Letternet is the largest free pen pal club in the world.
I was recently surprised to learn that Letternet has been around since 1997. Membership is free and open to just about anyone in the world. All Letternet members receive a quarterly magazine called Lettermag (in German and English). Letternet doesn't use e-mail, but you can still use your computer to register online (Letternet registration). You provide some info about yourself and a computer then selects your first "ideal" penpal (Brieffreundin in German). But you can also look through Letternet's registered members to select someone with whom you'd like to exchange letters. After you register, you'll receive a small package from Letternet with a welcome letter and the contact info for your first penpal.
Although Letternet is sponsored by the German Post Office, your penpal(s) can be anywhere in the world. The Pinnwand "notice board" in a recent edition of Lettermag featured four pages of Kleinanzeigen "classifieds" for members in France, South Africa, Germany, the USA, Finland, Belarus, Turkey, Sweden, most of the German-speaking Europe, and several other countries. Although the main languages for corresponding are German and English, other languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Turkish, etc.) are also possible. You can also place your own free ad in the magazine.
If you think that sending handwritten letters on paper is a bit anachronistic in the 21st century, the Letterfun website offers these reasons (and more) why you should prefer letters over e-mail or the phone:
Warum Briefe? (Why letters?)
- Ich schreibe. (I’m writing)
- Denn mein Brief soll nicht in Spam-Mails untergehen. (Because my letter isn’t going to go into the Spam mail trashbox.)
- Denn ein Brief hat mehr Bedeutung. (Because a letter has more meaning.)
- Denn ein Brief kann er nicht einfach löschen. (Because a letter can’t just be erased.)
- Denn ein Brief hält länger als ein Handy-Akku. (Because a letter lasts longer than a chat on a cellphone.)
- Denn ein Brief hat immer Empfang. (Because a letter always has resonance/reception.)
- Denn ein Brief gerät in kein Funkloch. (Because a letter doesn’t just disappear into cyberspace.)
- Denn ein Brief klingelt nicht in peinlichen Momenten. (Because a letter doesn’t embarrass one in those silent moments.)
- Denn eine E-Mail duftet nicht. (Because an e-mail doesn’t have a fragrance.)
- Denn Kleinigkeiten lassen sich per E-Mail schlecht verschenken. (Because with e-mails you can’t send along small items of interest.)
- Denn eine SMS wiegt nichts. (Because instant messages don’t weigh anything.)
- Denn ein Brief enthält weder Viren noch Würmer. (Because a letter doesn’t contain either viruses nor worms.)
From the Letterfun Web site
NOTE: Letternet has stated recently that since they have a new homepage, they have stopped producing "Lettermag", the Letternet magazine.
To learn more about Letternet and how it works, visit the Letternet website: Letternet