Tech boom diminishes holiday letter-writing tradition - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Tech boom diminishes holiday letter-writing tradition

By Kiran Chawla - email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - 'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the post office, Santa letters were being processed in hopes they weren't too late.

Thousands of handwritten letters addressed to the North Pole are processed here.

"It's capable of feeding, reading and sorting 40,000 pieces per hour," said USPS electronic technician Rob Arrington. "That's an average of 8 to 10 pieces a second."

Over the years, new technology has put a jam on the letter-writing tradition.

"10,000 to 15,000 letters probably dropped down to 5,000," said USPS manager Richard Williams. "Normally, on the day before Christmas, there still would have been a larger volume than what you saw."

In past years, the shelves and bins at the post office would be full of Santa letters. Some would even be designated for the North Pole. But with a technology boom, the shelves and bins are running dry.

"I've seen about 50-60% decrease in the handwritten Santa letters over the course of my career," said Williams.

In his 30 plus years at the post office, Williams blames one thing for the slow diminishing holiday tradition.

"Everybody is computer literate now. I'm assuming Santa has a website kids can go to and talk to Santa," said Williams.

And he does...

You can talk and chat with Santa, email him & even send virtual Santa letters.

Just pick out a stamp, fill out your name and tell him what you want. Then click it off with a virtual "goodie".

On Facebook, Santa tells children to email him and promises to respond to every letter.

Whether typed or handwritten, the most important thing here is to get all the wishes to the North Pole in time -- something the postal service guarantees!

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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