Millennials have grown accustomed to the instant gratification offered by the digital universe that has informed their lives. They put a premium on speed and efficiency, and as countless comedians have joked, those two words are not often associated with the U.S. Postal Service.
When it comes to Millennials and the U.S. Postal Service, you might as well be talking about such outdated notions as seeing a movie in a movie theatre or watching a TV show when it actually airs. The U.S Postal Service does not quite lend itself to the multitasking, instant gratification Millennial mindset, according to a new survey of affluent investors conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
The post office, once trumpeted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration to be “the one concrete link between every community of individuals and the Federal government,” is, as we know it at risk.
The financially-beleaguered U.S. Postal Service just last week defaulted on a $5.6 billion payment for future health benefits. Last July, the agency announced it was considering closing 3,700 post offices across the country--the largest downsizing in its history—in a bid to save $200 million a year. Earlier this year there was talk of suspension of Saturday delivery.
And it’s not that Millennials would not feel the impact if postal service were discontinued. On a scale between 0 and 100, with 0 equaling “no impact” and 100 equaling “big impact,” Millennials and Gen Xers under 40 ranked 60.52. In comparison, Baby Boomers ages 51-60 ranked the issue 62.99 and those over 60 ranked it 65.81.
But the stereotype of Millennials as “the entitled generation” conforms to their attitude toward Saturday deliver: they want it. More than one-third (36.6 percent) said it would affect them if Saturday delivery was suspended vs. 27 percent of Gen Xers and late Baby Boomers ages 41-50, 26 percent of Baby Boomers ages 51-60, and 20 percent of those over 60.
Millennials have grown accustomed to the instant gratification offered by the digital universe that has informed their lives. They are the first generation to have lived every day with the Internet. Mobile technology has made them the consummate multi-taskers, and as such, they put a premium on speed and efficiency. As countless comedians have joked, those two words are not often associated with the U.S. Postal Service.
When asked why they don’t use the postal service to mail packages, nearly half (48 percent) of Millennials and the youngest Gen Xers said that going to the post-office was too time consuming. An equal percentage complained that the lines are too long. Nearly one-third (31 percent) believe that the post office is not efficient enough.
Nearly one-fourth of Millennials (22 percent) said they had had bad experiences with the post office (hey, get in line), while 17 percent expressed a lack of trust in the post office’s ability to handle their packages.
Previous Millionaire Corner surveys find Millennials to be sanguine about 20th century fixtures. They are the most likely to have but one television set in their home (35 percent, vs. just 12 percent of Baby Boomers, the first TV generation). They are also less likely than their older counterparts to have a newspaper subscription and a landline.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.