Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Handwritten letters a rarity in age of e-mails: statistics

By Liu Li-ren and Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwanese have been writing far fewer letters since e-mail became the dominant means of correspondence, recent statistics show.

The figures released by -Chunghwa Post show that people in Taiwan sent between 2.7 billion and 2.8 billion letters each year from 2001 to 2005, which was about 150 million less than in the 1980s.

Chunghwa Post said the decline in the number of letters sent was mainly due to a shortage of handwritten letters, which have been replaced by e-mails.

Information from the state-owned enterprise showed that each Taiwanese wrote an average of 130 letters in the 1980s, and that the figure has been declining at a rate of 4.3 percent each year.

The revenue generated from letters dropped from NT$25 billion to NT$23 billion, the statistics showed.

Chunghwa Post also said that credit card bills, phone bills, flyers, magazines, postcards and parcels had taken the place of letters, accounting for a substantial portion of mail delivered.

That mailmen used to deliver letters, but now deliver notices of all kinds instead, indicates a drastic social change, it said.

Saying that the decline of conventional letters was observed throughout the world, the company said it would organize activities this year to encourage the general public to write more letters.

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