Monday, 2 February 2009

Why Electronic Gifts Ruined My Holidays: Case In Point The Electronic Postcard


Did you receive all those electronic greeting cards and postcards this past holiday season? What happened huh? I remember the days of “physical” postcard printing where I actually had something to hold on to (and probably cry with joy about). The postcard print has been replaced by this hi-tech but otherwise impersonal monstrosity that is the electronic postcard. Even my grandmother sent me one (which was actually cool but that is beside the point). Electronic postcards have ruined the holidays for me. Having family and friends all over the world, it is nice to get some actual mails or print postcards from them which I can hold and appreciate. However due to the lack of imagination or maybe even effort, giving our postcard printing designs have been replaced by online ones.

Don't get wrong however. Email greeting cards and postcards are of course still appreciated. However there is something slightly off when you send them. There is something impersonal and even commercial about it that just irks me. So if you are planning to dump color postcard printing and go for the electronic kind, I have a pointers to tell you young man/lady. They are not as good as they are supposed to be.

I just can't keep them

It is hard to keep electronic postcards. Unlike actual color postcards that can be kept in memory boxes or magnetized into the refrigerator, an electronic postcard is in the computer. There is no novelty in such a thing. I can't glance at it as I go about the house, and I can't view it with other memory keepsakes like letters and figures.

Of course one can argue that I can print those electronic postcards. If that is your argument, then why don't you just fax the darn thing? Oh yeah, that's worse but it is has the same effect. They are just hollow representations of what should be a real thing. Besides some people might have to buy themselves a good printer before even trying to print those.

Most of them are templates which are impersonal

Next, electronic postcards can be impersonal. There is nothing like seeing your friend or family member's handwriting in a greeting card or color postcard. You know that their hand actually wrote the thing. Electronic postcards have no such personal touch. For all you know, it was just sent by someone other than your friend or family. Of course the designs themselves look like they are just from postcard templates. There is hardly anything special about that.

You want to know about special postcards? Some people actually send custom postcards (that are printed). These are postcards where the image is actually a custom picture of the one who sent it to you. Now, those kinds of postcards are worth printing and receiving. A personal touch like that is very much appreciated.

I still have to do something to open it

Lastly, there is the effort in opening electronic postcards. To view them I have to boot up the PC and go online. What if my PC gets busted, or the Internet connection gets screwed? These things happen. If you sent a custom postcard printing this would not be a problem at all.

So you see? Electronic greeting cards and postcards have a lot of major disadvantages. They are novel and cute in some ways, but their impact is lackluster even disappointing at times. I guess this is a message to my family, friends and to all others out there that send electronic postcards. Try sending real postcards. They are more special and well worth the effort. As for me, I'll keep sending you postcards an maybe even a fruitcake.



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