When I was a child, we relied on the mail delivery with the same intensity that folks today count on their WiFi to work. The fact that many of us have chronic complaints about the effectiveness of our WiFi is fodder for another column.
The U.S. Postal Service is clearly struggling.
It's not the people. The folks that I deal with are always friendly and always work hard.
But there is something wrong.
When we moved into our small Fort Walton Beach neighborhood more than 15 years ago, the mail was always delivered by mid-afternoon.
These days, I'm home from work before the mail truck rolls through our neighborhood. Thursday night, I got it at 6:45 p.m. Some days, we just don't get mail.
Or we get someone else's mail. One day last week I got zero things for our house and five for one of our neighbors. A few weeks before that, a lovely lady who has the same house number but lives on a different street delivered a package she'd received a few days ago. Our neighbor, when I gave him his mail, said he'd been receiving mail for someone with his house number on a different street.
I don't know why the Postal Service is having problems, but I can take some good guesses.
The fact that fewer people get mail is at the top of my guess list. Many pay their bills online, which I'm sure has cut down the volume of mail considerably. Few people write letters, opting to text or email instead.
Even advertising, which once had two principal means of delivery, now comes at us through email, unwelcome robo calls and social media.
Packages still have to be physically delivered, but even there the post office has stiff competition. Fed Ex and United Parcel Service will both happily send your parcels and as a consumer, you can choose your method of delivery based on price and arrival dates.
You can even reach Santa Claus by electronic means. Yup, he has an email address and multiple websites.
I can't imagine a world without mail trucks, post offices and mail boxes. And I probably don't have to.
But it seems highly possible that for future generations, the idea of a "mailman" will be as foreign as a landline and a phone book. They will never know what they missed: a world where human beings connected the dots.
Daily News Managing Editor Wendy Victora can be reached at 315-4478 or email@example.com