It’s no secret that Gen Z and millennials use social media to get their news content and fight for what they believe in. In the past few months, they rallied to organize protests for Black Lives Matter and troll President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. Now, Gen Z is joining the fight to save the United States Postal Service (USPS) before the 2020 election.
In June, TikTok users encouraged everyone to practice “shopping cart abandonment” on Trump’s online store in order to harm his campaign. They told people to go to the store, fill their carts up with as much merch as possible, then abandon their full carts. This can confuse store inventory numbers and cost organizers money in the long run.
In stark contrast to shopping cart abandonment, Gen Z are taking to Twitter and beyond to advertise USPS merch. They dub USPS-branded shirts, sweaters, and bucket hats as the latest fashion trend, replacing popular streetwear brands like Supreme.
Popular USPS merch, like crop tops and Mr. Zip shirts, are now sold out.
The campaign to save the USPS didn’t stop at selling out merch, however.
Going Viral With USPS Content
True to 2020 fashion, Gen Z are still finding new ways to go viral, including focusing their content on the USPS. On TikTok, there are 4.4 million views combined from videos using #SaveUSPS. One of the most viral TikToks to come out of the hashtag was created by Siete White, who found inspiration from a tweet.
The original tweet said, “We must sexualize the USPS in order to save it.” The tweet was one of many instances of Gen Z and millennials popularizing #SaveUSPS with jokes and memes. In her now-viral TikTok, White dressed up as a mail carrier to dance along to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” on top of a mailbox.
After going viral, White posted a follow-up TikTok to explain #SaveUSPS further, addressing “Gen Z, Millenials, and woke Gen X.” She briefly described why saving the USPS was important to the upcoming election. Then, she encouraged everyone to text “USPS” to 50409, which would send a message to their congressman in support of USPS.
Others Are Getting Book Deals
Younger Americans recognizing the importance of the USPS (and going viral for it) also isn’t new. Back in May, 11-year-old Emerson Weber went viral after writing a letter to her mail carrier to thank him. Not only did her mail carrier, Doug, appreciate the sentiment, but thousands of other mail carriers thanked her for her appreciation.
Emerson told TODAY that the USPS is as important as ever, especially as she starts remote instruction for this school year. The USPS helps her keep in contact with her friends. Emerson said she doesn’t have her own cellphone, but she prefers to communicate over mail because it feels more special.
“Like, I call my grandmother lots but today I got a letter from her. And it’s just so much better to get…letters,” Emerson explained to TODAY. “When they see how long you took to write them, or even a short note, they know you spent time to think about them, and it just makes them really happy.”
Now, her story is at the center of a children’s book from HarperCollins — a love letter to the USPS and how essential they are. The picture book, titled Sincerely, Emerson, will be released January 5, 2021.
Gen Z USPS — Sources
HuffPost: Want to Help Save the Post Office? Buy This USPS Merchandise
TODAY: South Dakota girl’s viral letter reminds us why we need the postal service
Yahoo Finance: ‘USPS Merch’ Stamps Receive Breakout Support, Much of It From Gen Z