Think Before You Send That E-Card
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
If you’re thinking about sending an e-card for Valentine’s Day this year, think again.
But aren’t they convenient and popular? Yes. For the sender. And that’s the problem.
From a recipient’s perspective, the e-card is hardly convenient or popular. It’s an additional interruption in my already hectic digital day. The well-wishing arrives from a semi-personalized system which must overcome a significant trust barrier. After all, it could be a phishing hoax
Rather than enjoy the message right away, I have to visit the e-card website. Provided the link works (and I don’t have to enter a claim code), I muddle through advertising to watch a short animated card featuring a generic message. If I’m exceptionally lucky, it plays obnoxious music
Gee, thanks. Next year, just get me herpes
The upside of the proliferation of digital communication (email, IM, Tweets, Facebook status updates, etc.) is the rise in value of the handwritten note. Sure, I hear you groaning: But I have to pick the stationary! My handwriting sucks! I hate licking envelopes! I’m not sure what to say! I don’t even have stamps in my house!
Yes, the handwritten note is inconvenient for the sender. But it inverts the convenience equation. For the recipient, it’s as easy as it gets. And it’s authentic. And it has the good fortune to bring human connection to offline time, when the recipient can really appreciate it.
In a down economy you’re more likely to have the spare time to slow down and put yourself authentically in the world. After all, you can’t spend all day job hunting.