Submitted: The Two Sides Team October 10, 2012
Mother Nature Network asks, When was the last time you sent a paper greeting card? Actually, I very often send paper greetings cardsI sent a thank you card last month, a birthday card in July, two birthdays coming at the end of this month, and a wedding anniversary in
oops, two days. Printed cards all.
October 9 2012
by Richard Romano – WhatTheyThink Blog
asks, When was the last time you sent a paper greeting card?
Actually, I very often send paper greetings cardsI sent a thank you
card last month, a birthday card in July, two birthdays coming at the
end of this month, and a wedding anniversary in oops, two days. Printed
cards all. However, I am apparently a rare breed (but then we all knew
Hallmark Cards recently announced that is will close the
Kansas factory that used to make about one-third of the companys cards,
and The Wall Street Journal reports: According to a U.S. Postal Service
study, correspondence such as greeting cards fell 24 percent between
2002 and 2010. Invitations alone dropped nearly 25 percent just between
2008 and 2010.
A couple of friends of mine are getting married next month, and their
big complaint: how expensive it was to print and mail wedding
invitations. Not that they ever will have to do it again (hopefully),
but I think we ever get to the point where couples are sending wedding
invitations via Facebook then we are definitely looking at the decline
of Western civilization.
As I have remarked in this space before, I have never
warmed to the idea of e-cardsI think theyre very very cheesy (except
for some of the kids ones, but even then ) and none Ive seen even come
close to comparing to some of the touching or clever print cards I have
sent and received over the years. (I would occasionally send an e-card
if I was woefully late, but after Hallmark decided to only sell
subscriptions to their-e-card service I stopped that.)
I can buy some of the reasons given for the decline of printed cards,
but I think you will have the same reaction to this that I had:
Online greetings are more planet-friendly: Even if you
are crafting your greetings from recycled cards, or buying handmade,
locally-produced cards printed with soy ink and happen to pick them up
when doing other errands, there are still the costs in fossil fuels that
it takes to transport a physical card and envelope to your recipient.
And if you buy, say, a Hallmark card, you need to add the energy it
takes to cut the trees, make the paper, transport the paper to Hallmark
factories, print the cards, and then ship them to my local store (that I
likely drive to). Yes, the Internet uses energy, but for a single
greeting, online wins the energy-use competition.
As they say, horse hockey. (A single greeting, but multiplied by x number of people? Recall the New York Times series that continues to run looking at the price of pixels.) This blog has covered this issue ad nauseam, so there is no need to dwell on this here. Suffice to say, scream whatever lurid profanity you like. I wont complain.
Let us consider this:
To those who argue that receiving a (what I see as
wasteful) card in the mail, hand-written by the person who sent it is
more meaninful, I say that meaning is where you find it. Knowing that my
friend took the time to send me a message or choose an e-card, or type a
message, as opposed to writing it, is just as meaningful to me.
Even with typos? Obviously, how we choose to be greeted and fêted is a
personal choice. I am perfectly happy if anyone remembers my birthday
or other events in my life in any mediumbut I will prefer to honor
those in my life in print. Thats going to have to be OK.