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Posted by Richard Sanger




Mother and daughter giving grandmother a card

Greeting cards were created as an alternative to the longform handwritten letter. During the 1800’s, the demands of everyday living left people with little time to write at length. For people who needed a little help staying in touch with their family and others, the greeting card was a welcome alternative. Greeting cards were also, in many ways, a technological advancement for their time. 


Following the same path as the greeting card, current technological advancements have given rise to the ability to connect with people near and far like never before. Our loved one’s voices are a phone number away no matter where they are in the world. We can send instantaneous messages and pictures through our phones. We can video chat with our phones and laptops with Zoom, Skype, and many other platforms. We can see what our loved ones are up to on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are all fantastic and welcome ways to keep up with our parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, friends, coworkers, and so many more. 


For many, these new digital technologies have come to replace paper greeting cards. They ask why go to the store and spend the time and money to pick out a card when you can just send a “Happy Birthday” text with a few celebratory emojis or a GIF? Why send a Christmas card with the family picture and yearly update when you can see what people are up to all year on Facebook? There are even several articles to be found with a quick Google search proclaiming the end of the paper greeting card. 


While technology is great in so many ways, there is also so much lost. Here are four ways greeting cards are far from being obsolete. 


Shared Touch

Quilled Cornucopia Card

When you receive a handwritten greeting card, you are given a gift that was held and written on by your loved one. This is a physical connection you can cherish when separated by time or distance. With modern technology, that shared touch is lost.  


Permanence

A framed Mother's Day card on display

A greeting card is a tangible gift that can last a lifetime. You can frame it, place it in a scrapbook, or even save it in a shoe box. Seeing a framed card hanging on your wall is a welcome daily reminder of your loved one who may be far away or who has passed on. This is a connection that is lost with a text message or e-card that exists only in digital form.   


Thinking of Your Loved One

Quilled Hummingbird Feeder Greeting Card

When you give a greeting card, it is a gift that shows you were thinking of your friend or family member. You dedicated a moment of your time to think of the recipient, your relationship with them, and what design would mean so much to them when you picked out a card. The sentiment you write is solely about your love and thoughts for your loved one and what they mean to you. 


Sharing a Part of You

A mother holding a greeting card hugs her daughter.

When you pick out a greeting card, you also share a little bit of yourself in it through the design you select. You choose a design that speaks to you in a way that makes you think of the recipient. Through your choice of design, you can be sure that, when your loved one receives the card, they know it was a gift from you. 


Modern technology has changed our lives like never before and has made keeping in touch with our family easier and convenient. But it also adds degrees of separation from our loved ones who may already be far from us, in time or distance. Greeting cards are a way for all of us to bridge that distance and share so much with our loved ones in ways that technology will never be able to offer.