In that same issue of Create (I'm browsing my magazines whilst separating downloaded "digiscrap" alpha images--I hate it when they include the whole alphabet in a single .png file, but hey, when it's a free download, who am I to complain...) and on the same page, for that matter (I'm doing rather more separating than reading, which is good, because my TODO folder is pretty full) is the following:
The U.S. Postal Service unveiled research about how Generation X and Y interact with mail. The findings conclude that young consumers are more likely to read and respond to printed material such as flyers, circulars, catalogs and newsletters that reach them through the mailbox--70 percent of Generation X and 82 percent of Generation Y sort through their mail immediately.
Okay, so. "More likely" than who? (Whom? As an admitted grammar geek, that one still bothers me, and the web isn't being much help.) Presumably previous generations? That seems unlikely to me. Being part of "Generation X" myself, I know that while I do like "real mail" I only like it when it's really real. That is, when it's (a) from someone I know or (b) about something I want to know about.
Now, I'll admit, there is a sort of fascination with snail mail--witness the resurgence of interest in mail art (RAKs, postcrossing, etc.)--but that doesn't mean I'm actually reading my junk mail. Everyone I know is fully familiar with the concept of spam, and we understand that it can be in physical or digital form. My email junk folder has an analog equivalent in my office trash can. The only difference in my approach is that I actually open the physical credit card offers in order to shred the page containing my name and address (and often snicker at how out-of-date and/or incorrect the name is--multiple marriages and an unusual first name will mess your average database). Unsolicited email? Open it? Not on your life.
And who thinks that "sorting through" one's mail is equivalent to reading it? Now, I've sure met some dumb kids, but while they might lack basic math and communications skills, they are not necessarily incredulous consumers. After all, these young'uns have been exposed to well-publicized scams for their entire lives. If anything, our kids (and their kids) should be getting more cynical rather than more gullible.
The final force at work here that makes me doubt the significance of this finding is the proliferation of the life-hacking getting-things-done mentality. WE ALL have too much to do. WE ALL have to establish routines and cut corners wherever we can. So yeah, I sort my mail as soon as I get it. And 99% of it goes straight to the round file. (And if the Post Office would act as my spam filter, would I pay for that? YOU BET YOUR SWEET @$$ I WOULD!! Is anybody listening??)