As far as time constraints are concerned.. For me, I use the hobby as a way to relieve stress and relax. Soaking and pressing, organizing and placing, learning and researching. These are just ways for me to take time for myself. I do it when I have a few minutes of downtime here or there. It feels like a hobby any age should be able to participate in. I think that people just need to be reminded that there is a world outside of iPhones and Netflix that can be enjoyed.
My son, 11 going on 12, has been hooked for some years. I took him into the Stamp Exchange on the Strand when he was about six, and although he was barely as tall as the counter, he amused the staff by calling out to me, "Hey - Machins, block of four!". Whenever I get my stamps out he always tends to follow suit, and does some work on his collection. Whether he'll sustain his interest when he gets into his teens, who knows? I lost interest at about 13, until I was much older.
100% Lady Grace! I'm clicking like ;) Why waste my time scrolling Tik Tok or insta when I can relax and feed my hungry brain. I find stamping therapeutic and the forum members insightful/thought provoking.
I think that every casual hobby has seen an evolution and has had a 'heyday' stage. I also think that 'heyday' stage is different than something that is called a 'fad'. Hula-hoops and pet rocks were a 'fad'; collecting stamps, aquariums, gardening and fishing are all hobbies. Most hobbies talk about getting young kids involved by I have doubts that any of have ever had great success at drawing kids into it. If the stars align and the hobby also hits 'fad' status, then yes kids can be drawn into it but the interest is ephemeral. For me the question remains if the squeeze is worth the juice in investing time and effort in targeting younger folks. (Back in the 1970s, I was the youngest member of my local club by a good 40 years. But like most everyone else, philately got pushed to the rear burner as family and career took priority.)
I do agree that there may be some kind of intrinsic 'collector' attribute (not sure if this is 'nature or nurture') that motivates many of us; but this 'collector' attribute seems to be applied across all kinds of 'stuff' and not just specifically one thing.
I think it is important to have accessibility to philatelic information for people of any age. Doing things like a kid's bed side lamp with topical decoupage stamps (i.e. dinos, space, flowers, sports, Disney, etc.) help introduce them without either boring them with minutia or overwhelming with endless catalog varieties. https://stampsmarter.org/learning/H...coupage.html
My attempts at combining stamps and music videos met limited success with younger folks
I do not agree that young people are critical to the hobby, it has always been populated by a much older demographic. There was a period in the hobby's evolution that younger people were more involved but it was a pre internet, pre television time and there may have been a bit of 'fad' at the time. But it seems like our hobby has long had 'doom and gloom' opinion holders who thing that the lack of younger people interest is a bad sign. I disagree with this perspective, older adults have always been the largest demographic. I've posted this image before, not many young folks in this 1968 APS meeting group picture. If the hobby is still going for the last 50-60 years without a large percentage of younger people, then we should not be too worried.
Of course introduce young folks to the hobby, but do not expect them to raise the significant sums of money it takes to buy catalogs and albums. Instead, introduce them to designing their own album pages, introduce them topical collecting on Vario pages, expose them to the hobby using the confluence of other things. Don
I think Don hit the nail on the head. Many of us put stamp collecting on the back burner while we were trying to make our way in the world with career and family. As we get older and have more time and disposable income, stamp collecting moves up in rank. Just to add one thing. As a parent whose children are getting older, I find it amazing when they tell me something I did that made an impression on them that I thought was inconsequential. You never know if the stamp decoupage lamp by the bed or watching dad work on his collection might trigger an interest in stamps as they become older adults.
Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example. I collect for enjoyment, not investment. APS Member #223433 Postmark Collectors Club Member #6333 Meter Stamp Society Member #1409
My kids were both apparently born without the collecting gene and, according to them, none of their friends have it either. My wife and I both collect and always have, but they have no interest in anything. I do see plenty of presumably younger people online that are collecting stamps of a sort, but most that I see only care about "I found/was given/inherited these stamps. Give me money!"
@51studebaker I think collectors are born collectors. I don't think it's possible to make a collector (I've tried haha).
No, I don't think young people are critical to the survival of the hobby per se. But I think kids should be given the option or introduced to the idea at least. I agree topical collection for kids would be the most successful. Topical decoupage is a great idea!
I share my hobby at work. We have a "Stamps" slack channel where I post some interesting stuff, that even a few non-stamp collectors like. iI send out everything from xmas cards to W-2s to thank you cards with old stamps. I've given stamps to folks who want something special for wedding invitations. I've given away starter albums at "white elephant" parties.
I talk about it and answer questions people have about old stamps they have or the duck stamp program which has been in the news lately. I helped someone at work to avoid counterfeit stamps on eBay.
i involve my elementary-age kids and let them play with stamps too - give them all my used stamps cut from envelopes. Their friends sometimes see me with my stamps and watch for a bit. I gave them some stamps they thought were "pretty."
I took my young son to a stamp show and a well-known dealer gave him a valuable us mint album - complete with high-value prexies, the $5 hamilton, farleys, and modern priority and express mail stamps. He was so excited to get it. We look at his stamps together sometime and when he wants to, we'll remount the stamps in a new album.
I think the way to spread the hobby is to just talk about it openly with folks.
I've recently had success creating some interest! A younger person who said stamps were boring a few weeks ago now is saying (a bit sheepishly) "I am actually kinda interested now". Exposure to all the different themes/topics and countries is what made the difference. They even have an idea of some themes they are interested in collecting! I seriously thought this person would be a lost cause! Just goes to show you never know!
If I may add my purely anecdotal observations as a current college student: While I love stamp collecting and my friends certainly appreciate stamp collecting (and the fact that I enjoy it), they're not interested in it themselves. I've found that family/friends seem to find the stories behind the philatelic objects most interesting. If I were to talk to someone my age (added bonus if they're interested in history), I think sharing the stories behind the stamps would be the best way to introduce philately.
I totally agree! I've talked to people who had no interest in stamps but then were very eager to hear the stories behind them. I think a lot of people take stamps for granted. They don't stop to think about what the imagery means.