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Author: Subject: Why does everybody write exactly the same?
Corydoras
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 01:56 PM
Why does everybody write exactly the same?


The longer I am on PC the more disappointed I am with the communication aspect of the whole project.
I know, I know, some people are in it just for collecting, some like to do smalltalk, some want to learn about different cultures... Well, when I started there has always been a wild mixture of all these people.

These days, as if it would be some unwritten law, almost all of the people write the following on the postcard.

"Hi, I am [name], I am [age] years old and work as [job] in [town]."

That's it. No diversity. No matter where the people are from and what their level of English is.

I myself try to write an individual text to everybody. You like animals? I'll tell you what my favorite animal is. You watch sports? I'll tell you which sports I follow and which I do myself. And I tell about my recent holidays, the last movie I watched, things that happened to me yesterday, etc, etc...

But no matter what I write on my postcard, again, as if it was an unwritten law, the big majority of my postcards get registered with the following text:

"Hello. Thank you for your card. I really liked it."

That is extremely disappointing, especially when I wrote a lot on my card, asked questions or even met topic demands some people have on their profile.

Why oh why do people do this? And have all those, who do this for communication died out? :(
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 02:05 PM


I would suggest to write some questions/suggestions what you want to read on card to your profile.

I do understand if you would prefer the more natural approach, but i do know that the questions work.

Well, as long as they are not existential ones that, from my point of view, demand a novel to be covered. I have encountered some such (I assume from very young people) and then I just write what comes to my mind (lately - about urban foxes)
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 02:06 PM


Everybody doesn't.

I never write "My name is" - you'll find my name in the signature. I never write my age, unless recipient asks in their profile. I rarely mention my job.

So no, all those who do this for communication have not died out.

:)
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 02:10 PM


Quote: Originally posted by jalutaja  

I do understand if you would prefer the more natural approach, but i do know that the questions work.


Nope. If people don't want to communicate with me, I respect that and I won't force them to. It's just frustrating that there are more and more of these on PC. Well, the big majority these days.


Quote: Originally posted by KAS  

So no, all those who do this for communication have not died out.


<3

I never write my age either. No idea how that is of ANY relevance...
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 05:14 PM


Not everyone enjoys writing stuff, I guess. Personally I'm in this as a substitute for penpalling, and I totally enjoy it when I get a more "letter-ish" card. Doesn't happen so often, so I'm extra happy when it does!



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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 06:09 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Corydoras  
"Hi, I am [name], I am [age] years old and work as [job] in [town]."

That's it. No diversity.


It's for sure disappointing to receive such messages on the cards. But when looking at the last official postcards I've received, I only see one postcard with a message simalar to the one above. "Hello friends. I am [name]. I live in [country]. Happy new year!" + date and temperature. All the other postcards have longer and varied messages.
I don't know why you receive those short, boring messages, while I don't (usually) receive them...? :puzzled:
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 06:42 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Norway_girl  
I don't know why you receive those short, boring messages, while I don't (usually) receive them...? :puzzled:


I don't understand how that can be, but they tend to come in batches. One day, some time ago, I received 6 official cards, beautiful ones all of them.
But: the first which I read, said "Hi, I am [name], I am [age] years old and work as [job] in [town]", the second and third "Greetings from [country], Happy postcrossing", and the fourth just a "Greetings, [name]".

I actually was a bit disappointed - four (very) short messages in a row. Had you asked me that day, I'd have said that "almost all" cards had "almost no" text at all. Nevertheless that is rather the exception than the rule, when I take a look at my last 50 or so received cards.
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 09:57 PM


You are right. But the other part (the Hurray messages) are a lot worse. I'd say about 80% are "Thank you for the card. I really liked it." in exactly this wording and nothing else.

Which is especially disappointing when you have written as much on the postcard as I usually do.

It's not even that I am from those super active countries that people could get bored by my location yet. :mad:
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[*] posted on 9-3-2017 at 10:51 PM


First of all, I don't think there is anything wrong with introducing yourself on a postcard. I am interested in who my sender is and what they do - and I don't routinely read the profiles after I've registered a card, whether that makes me a bad postcrosser or not.

That said, I just looked through the 15 cards I still have lying on my desk, and there are only very few with only this standard line of introduction. One sender wrote about the winter they are/were having and the subject of the card, another about folk art and its importance, a couple wrote about language learning and the languages that they speak or wished they spoke, one user wrote about how they don't know what to write as they are new :D, one talked about their home region, another one explained what I see on the card, one I still have to figure out because I have trouble reading her handwriting (Cyrillic), but it's a very long message, two talked about the places they have visited in my country, and the other five are rather short with more or less "Hi, I'm xxx and I like to xxx." One of those is an 8-year-old girl who has drawn a colourful picture for me instead of writing more, one is only "Greetings from xxx!"

I also looked through my recent Hurray messages and was surprised to find how many contained actual messages, not just the perfunctory "thank you for your nice card" (which I admit I am guilty of writing occasionally too - even though I try to make a point of writing more and responding to the card properly). Maybe I'm just lucky, because my cards are in no way more deserving of a proper thank you than yours, or maybe it's one of those things that come in waves. Like sometimes every single card I receive has been pre-uploaded, and sometimes it's none.

I also believe that what a newbie encounters kind of sets the tone for how they behave. If they meet lots of boring, standard messages and hurrays, they may get the feeling that that's how it's done and copy this behaviour (maybe subconsciously and certainly not everyone). If they get to read long, personal messages and friendly hurray messages that are more than just a simple "thank you", then that might be what they perceive as the standard. That's why I am always extra careful not to be "blah" about a newbie card, just in case. Of course there are also different characters around, some are more chatty than others and not everyone is confident using English so they may well use a set of sentences they are comfortable with (like I notice I do with Russian at the moment). I know a curt "thank you!" is disappointing, but I try not to take it personally. Maybe they just had a few minutes to register cards between feeding their baby and cooking dinner, or they got in from work supertired and just registered the cards quickly before they fell asleep on the sofa watching a stupid game show (nothing you have to concentrate on, you know). At least they registered the card. ;)

(Oops, didn't mean to write such a novel ... :D)
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 04:58 AM


I must be lucky because although I get some ( which I put down to language) most fill the small space with information
As for hurray messages again I get mostly chatty ones and have even done swaps on the strength of hurrah messages what I don't like is the empty ones
I always try to write at least a sentence but sometimes if I ve had an unsuitable card I just say thank you
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 08:40 AM


Well, and now I start to wonder what on earth I am doing wrong. :/
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 08:54 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Corydoras  


I never write my age either. No idea how that is of ANY relevance...


Well, may-be it is just me, but there are many interesting questions I would like to ask people who were contemporary to them.

Also - if the young Russian postcrossers would bother to look at my age, they would not send me old Soviet postcards with messages to tell about this exotic historical entity that used to exist in "ancient times" - the Soviet Union. :D Being "ancient" myself, I even reached maturity during the Soviet time.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 09:03 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Corydoras  
Well, and now I start to wonder what on earth I am doing wrong. :/


I do not see anything wrong with your profile.

Well, at first I wondered that may-be the detailed wish list left impression to some people that the image on the card is the main point for you in Postcrossing, but I do see more than one item to spur off my inspiration for filling a card (there might be family stories ... and I am also always happy to write to fellow-atheists)

May-be it is just turn of luck ... was it better in past years?
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 09:36 AM


Quote: Originally posted by jalutaja  

may-be the detailed wish


This is very funny as everybody seems to see that differently. I see it as "look, I am interested in SO many things, there should be no problem finding something for me."
Even I after all these years and ~1500 cards on stock often stumble over wishlists that only contain three or four items of which none I have. So I try to give many different ideas.

And in the end, no, the picture doesn't count. But that's also what my profile says. That I love lots of text.

Quote: Originally posted by jalutaja  
May-be it is just turn of luck ... was it better in past years?


A lot better, yes. I am only noticing this turn of "laziness" the past ~2 years.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 10:16 AM


Quote: Originally posted by jalutaja  

...if the young Russian postcrossers would bother to look at my age, they would not send me old Soviet postcards with messages to tell about this exotic historical entity that used to exist in "ancient times" - the Soviet Union. :D Being "ancient" myself, I even reached maturity during the Soviet time.


:D I put a date qualifier on my request for "very old cards" because I was getting cards from the late 1970s and 1980s with notes like "here is a super-old card I found in my grandma's collection!"

Regarding messages, though, I like to introduce myself so people know who is writing to them, and in return I like knowing the person's name up front because I cannot always read the signature, plus to me it is more like a normal conversation. I would never talk to someone even for a few minutes at a party, then say "Bye, Oh! I'm Courtney!" only as I was walking away.

I also checked through and of my last ten cards three did start out with name, age, and what they do. But then all went on to say something more - two describing the card and one who talked about why she likes her job.

I agree with jalutaja, that questions help. I ask people to translate or explain the card and if they have more space to just tell me something that makes them smile. Since I added this I think I receive fewer generic messages.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 10:55 AM


Am I the only one who doesn't like being told what to write? :) (Recent example that annoyed me: "tell me the most breathtaking and awesome stories that happened in your life". I don't really know why I disliked that one soooo muuuuch, but I did.)


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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 12:27 PM


Quote: Originally posted by KAS  
Am I the only one who doesn't like being told what to write? :) (Recent example that annoyed me: "tell me the most breathtaking and awesome stories that happened in your life". I don't really know why I disliked that one soooo muuuuch, but I did.)




I agree with you, I do not like stuff like that either and would find that one on the level with my personal pet peeve question ("Tell me a secret"). In that case I would simply say, "Sorry, my most awesome moments have happened behind closed doors!" Or something.

But I do not mind being asked to describe the card or recommend a book or give a saying or quote or say what your favorite food is something.

(Edited to add: I just drew a profile with this:
"And please write something about you, about your country or city, about nature of your locations..."
I have no problem at all with a request like that.)
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 01:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ColorfulCourtney  

"And please write something about you, about your country or city, about nature of your locations..."


Hehe, well, I don't really have a problem with something like that, but they don't actually need to tell me to do that. It's the specific ones that can rub me the wrong way sometimes, like the breathtaking one above, but also some of the more obvious ones...

And sometimes everything annoys me and I realise I'm not in the right mood and then I go do something else.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 02:37 PM


my 2-cents (no specific order or relevance)

- relax
- random check of 19 cards recieved in the last weeks: one user told me her age, no one mentioned any job. Names and hometowns yes.
- some cards had many text written on them, some cards only some few words.
- random check of some last hurrays: one empty, some standard, some really 'sophisticated' with connection to my card and/or the text/questions I had sent
- random check of my last registration notes: none had less than five lines, although I have to 'admitt' that the 'traditional' 'thank you, what a nice card' is a recurring part of my messages. of course, I want to add; it's part of the game to be polite. (but of course my thank-yous vary from standard to real enthusiasm)
- I think we should not forget how limited the space on a card is. Also, in my opinion, postcrossing has a small angle to be one-sided. It's a moment of (hopefully) joy a complete stranger brings to your mailbox. For long and intense communication, other forums may suit better (facebook, youtube-comments, tindr *gg*)
- calm down and take the world as it is

- if you, Corydoras, really want to emphasize your wish for more text, maybe you should mention that somewhere in the beginning. A semi-commited user may focus on your 'cardthemes' and forget to read the last paragraphs. of course, there is no guarantee that this will work as there is no guarantee in postcrossing (or life) in general.


my personal conclusion: the 'quality' of cards and texts is (and will always be) subject to variation, but I can't detect any trend (being half the postcrosser compared to some others here are). It's more of a rollercoaster of average, good and very good moments. Coming from some pessimist years, I try to focus on the latter
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 02:40 PM


I've also noticed a semi-formulaic message, but assume its a new member who is unsure what to write or maybe someone with limited English, but these cards are only a small part of what I receive

personally I don't write my name on a card, I'll never tell you my age (who cares?) and since I am taking a year off work to write a book, I won't talk about my job either! I may describe what the card photo is about, why I selected this card to send, how my flowers are doing in this early spring, pet activities, any travel plans I may have, a whole variety of topics....and I may respond to comments/questions in the receiver's profile. And since I live in a super boring place I never encourage anyone to come visit (seriously, nobody traveling would come to Indiana)

I don't send out the exact same card hundreds of times (I recently received one of these and was sad when I looked at the sender's profile) and don't use the same combination of stamps (when possible I try to match stamps to the card topic or to the receivers interests and if I drew your name I would add USPS stamps that celebrate Olympic ski athletes)

so I think more experienced members do mix it up more with variations of the cards sent, messages, stamps etc.

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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 02:44 PM


To me, a little bit self introduction is a manner. I will create a picture in my brain while reading the sender's description of their life. It is interesting. The message format is more or less the same but the content never.

And I usually write message in response to the profile of the receivers. If they like reading, I will tell them my favourite book or book I'm reading. Or write somethings about the cover, or upcoming local event etc.

The most disappointing one is, I was asked to write "somethings" but being registered with a blank hurray message:(
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 03:21 PM


I almost always start my card with hello this is my name and age and here i live nice to meet you. i just think its nice to introduce myself to someone who randomly gets a card from me. but after that one sentence there is plenty of room left to talk about other things, so for me it's not one or the other.
i don't always get long hurrays back, some people just like the front of the card or some people aren't that talkative but i do get quite a lot of thank you's and a reaction to what i write on the card.

and yes sometimes i'm disappointed when i get a card that only says greetings from this country but i get a whole lot more amazing cards and amazing messages so i don't really mind those cards. i like the diversity and as long as i still enjoy the majority of my received postcards i don't have a problem with the few i don't like that much.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 05:15 PM


Quote: Originally posted by mchay  
i get a whole lot more amazing cards and amazing messages so i don't really mind those cards. i like the diversity and as long as i still enjoy the majority of my received postcards i don't have a problem with the few i don't like that much.


Very much this. :) :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 08:16 PM


Quote: Originally posted by ColorfulCourtney  
Quote: Originally posted by KAS  
Am I the only one who doesn't like being told what to write? :) (Recent example that annoyed me: "tell me the most breathtaking and awesome stories that happened in your life". I don't really know why I disliked that one soooo muuuuch, but I did.


I agree with you, I do not like stuff like that either and would find that one on the level with my personal pet peeve question ("Tell me a secret"). In that case I would simply say, "Sorry, my most awesome moments have happened behind closed doors!" Or something.


I'm not a big fan of specific requests for topics to write about either. Some more general things are fine (like things that make me happy or my favourite book), but I feel very free to ignore these suggestions and just write what comes to mind. Otherwise it often feels forced and I just don't enjoy writing on command. If, however, the request suits me and I'm in the mood, I'll happily describe my lunch or my socks or my view or whatever people might ask about. Most people say "if you don't know what to write", and since I often do know, I don't have to use the suggestions. ;) I don't ever comment on my not writing about the suggested topic though, just like I never "apologize" for not sending a card from the wishlist.

Oh, and every time I can't make out a signature I find myself thinking "if only they'd told me their name up front I wouldn't have to guess now ..." ;)
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[*] posted on 10-3-2017 at 08:19 PM


Quote: Originally posted by KAS  
Am I the only one who doesn't like being told what to write? :) (Recent example that annoyed me: "tell me the most breathtaking and awesome stories that happened in your life". I don't really know why I disliked that one soooo muuuuch, but I did.)



Right, me too. :)
I do tell secrets on cards every once in a while (mainly because it doesn't matter, these people don't know me. Also because it sometimes helps to get stuff off your shoulders.) But I never tell secrets when I am asked to. :D

The most personal card I ever wrote was the day after my grandma died. And I told a lady in the US almost everything I remembered about my grandma (I can write VERY tiny letters if I want to) and yes, that also helped.

But back on topic: From all your reactions I get the feeling only I am getting these generic Hurray Messages. And I seriously wonder why. :duh:
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