Personal Greeting Cards: Why technology and keepsakes don’t mix

by Henry L. on August 13, 2007

If you would have told me even ten years ago that I’d do most of my correspondence via my computer, I wouldn’t have believed you. First of all, as a sophomore in college, I hadn’t yet purchased my own computer (although I was spending plenty of time in the computer labs, working my way through this new-fangled thing called the Internet!). Secondly, I was a proud pen paller, writing friends all over the country and all over the world.

Suddenly, stationery and stamps went the way of horse and buggy. I was getting emails from my pen pal in Norway and instant messages from my best friend in Michigan. Flash forward a decade, and now I’m looking to increase my monthly text messaging plan on my phone. While I love all the things technology has resulted in, I’m not so crazy about the immediacy and disposability of these new and wide-used ways of communication.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still like the feel of an envelope in my hand and the sound of paper ripping as I open it to see what’s inside. I’m much more likely to remember a card you sent me – for any occasion – than one of a string of emails you sent me last week just to chat. Better yet, I can pull it out a month from now, a year from now, or even ten years for now to reminisce. Who saves their email that long? Who has the time to sift through an inbox?

When I was considering living on campus my first semester in college, my father gave me a greeting card. Not a man of many words, he’d picked a blank, all-purpose card and copied down lyrics to a song that conveyed how he was feeling. As he handed me the card, he gave me a hug and I could see tears in his eyes.

Try conveying that via an electronic message.

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