I’ve read a lot of blog posts this year about how Facebook is taking over from the traditional card when it comes to wishing your fellow-man a Happy Christmas. Now whilst it can’t really be argued that the sales of Christmas cards are declining, that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.
Whilst I am fully aware of the environmental effects of Christmas cards (I make sure to recycle my cards each year, and post as many by hand as possible to reduce mileage), to me there is nothing the helps you get into the festive mood quite like being frosted in Christmas card glitter.
I admit there have been years in the past when I have chosen to donate money to charity rather than forking out my hard-earned pennies on pieces of card, however the disappointment that I’ve channelled into this blog isn’t over an individual’s choice of whether or not to send cards… it is that fact that a lot of people are turning to Facebook.
Now, for those of you who have read my blog before you’ll know I love social media, so you might be wondering why on earth I’m wading in as devil’s advocate… Social media is all about being social, it’s all about making a connection and developing it whether for friendship, or for business, where as Christmas cards are the very embodiment of trivial social interaction – “To A ‘Happy Christmas!’ From B” – but at least I know you’ve gone to the effort of selecting the card, locating a pen, searching out your address book, and physically writing that card.
No matter how many seconds it may have taken you to scribe that seemingly bland platitude, the fact is I know that for those few moments you were focused 100% on me. With e-cards, whether on Facebook or elsewhere, I always have that nagging feeling that I am just one of many people copied into an address field.
My fear is that with more and more people running to their online profiles to send their festive greetings, we’ll eventually forget, or at least lose touch with, traditional methods of communication. Just last year I received a thank you letter from a relative typed on a computer – whilst there is nothing wrong with this in essence, I was deeply saddened to see that rather than taking a few minutes to whole heartedly thank me for my gift my young relation decided to simply stretch his mail merging muscles…
To me there are some situations where technology should really be used with caution, and no matter how far into the computerised world we move, we should not forget the value of the personal touch.
So this year I’ll be spending many an evening surrounded by scraps of paper, swearing at every smudge and mis-spelt name, frantically calling my mother for mis-placed addresses in an attempt to write my cards.
So remember, if you receive a card from me: I didn’t use Facebook. I risked paper cuts.