Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 4:38 am | Overcast 67º


John Daly: eCard vs. Traditional Holiday Card

I have to admit eCards are so easy. There are any number of eCard purveyors from which to choose. And, I can send them over the Internet or with my cell phone.

I can even go on Facebook and design my own eCards, and add photos and even music to boot!

It’s easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly! What’s not to like?

Well, there’s one thing. The FBI warned about eCard phishing scams. These are legitimate-looking emails that claim to convey an eCard from a “friend.” But, when the victim clicks on the link, a computer virus is introduced into your system.

So beware any suspicious eCards. If you get one, the FBI advises you go to the website’s pickup area. If you can’t complete the retrieval, then the email is most likely a scam and should be deleted. You should also file a complaint with the FBI at www.ic3.gov.

Even with that morsel of bad news, sending eCards has its appeal. And, yes, even with all the capabilities to send eCards, American consumers continue to purchase traditional holiday cards to the tune of $7.5 billion in retail sales.

That’s about 30 cards per family, according to the Greeting Card Association.

The History of the Greeting Card

Did you know that the custom of giving cards started with the Chinese sending good will wishes for the New Year, and with the Egyptians, who sent messages on papyrus?

Some time in the 1400s, the Europeans began exchanging greeting cards for Valentine and New Year.

The Greeting Card Association says the tradition spread to America by a German immigrant named Louis Prang, who launched a lithographic business outside of Boston around 1856 using a color process. Then, he began creating and distributing Christmas cards to England in the early 1870s. Of course, he also introduced them to America around 1875.

But I digress.

I have a special fondness for beautiful cards, and the origin of any and everything has always held a fascination for me. And, even though a large percentage of 16- to 35-year-olds will be happy to abandon the tradition of traditional cards for the ease, price and the environment, I still hold steadfast to the old way.

Even with music and personalization of eCards, there’s still something so intimately personal about receiving a card in the mail. It’s like getting a wrapped present as compared to getting an eGift Card from Amazon. The sender took the time to select the card, write in it and address it just for you.

It’s like comparing sending an email thank you to a handwritten one, and I think everyone on the planet knows how I feel about that!

So, yes, label me old-fashioned. I don’t care. It’s the message you send that matters the most, and the fact that you remembered to send it that really counts — whether it be traditional or eCard.

But, do me a favor, if you do send eCards this year for the holiday season: Consider donating the money you saved on traditional cards to your favorite charity!

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the keys to life skills success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or click here to buy his book. John’s new book, 74 Key Life Skills for a Happy, Successful Life, is currently available in digital format on Amazon. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook and follow John on Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have a question about business or social etiquette? Ask John at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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