Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Winning Young People's Hearts and Minds

Roy Lingen writes on the BuckaCover.com website, "The most common refrain heard in discussions about the state of the hobby is, 'there are too few young people taking up the hobby. The hobby is in a state of decline'. There is no question that the first part of this statement is true. Stamp collecting is having a very difficult time competing for the hearts and minds of young people when pitted against their current activities of computers and computer games. As a father to one teenage son, and an uncle to seven others ranging in ages from 8 to 15, I can vouch firsthand for the difficulty of generating an interest in stamp collecting."

Roy goes on to say, "Part of the problem is the current general impression of stamp collecting as an activity for 'nerds'. Recently, I watched a television episode of 'Relic Hunter', certainly a show for teenage boys if there ever was one. When Tia Carrera [sic], the sexy star, asked another character, a CIA agent, what he did in his spare time he answered "I collect stamps -- anything wrong with that?". Her reaction of suppressed mockery and disbelief would have been a sufficiently clear signal to any aspiring teenage boy that this is not an activity to engender respect in the female population! Possibly a better answer would have been 'I study the history of the world. My favourite medium is the stamps that have been issued for the last 160 years'.

According to Roy, "The lack of young newcomers, at least in North America and Europe, is a demographic fact. However the stamp market is not uniformly weak, there are many areas of dramatic strength. How can we explain this? In this writer's opinion, it's all in the demographics, but one must look at the global picture."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM