Dec 28, 2009

Posted by in Social comment | 0 Comments

Video games killed the Xmas card

Those of us who are of a certain age may recall a pop hit of yesteryear: video killed the radio star. It still gets a play on oldies radio every so often but the principle it refers to remains just as relevant: technology is changing our lifestyles.

This was brought home by teenagers who recently queried why anyone would send a Christmas card? They simply could not understand the concept. Why would anyone, they asked, make a special trip to the shop to buy outrageously expensive cards, spend ages finding up-to-date addresses then outlay even more money on postage and more time on putting the cards in a post box? That’s without even the apparently old-fashioned notion of physically writing – penmanship, that is – a message of greeting inside the card.

Fighting back apoplexy, I started to see things from their perspective and suddenly it was not so strange. Today’s young people have grown up (well, to an extent!) composing their messages and greetings via electronic means. Email and texting are their tools of the trade for staying in touch. Their Facebook presence is their constant ‘Christmas card’ open to anyone to view. The rigmarole of sending cards seems to them to be unutterably passé and simply not relevant to today’s world.

The sad thing is that they may just be right. Certainly if card makers don’t drastically discount their extraordinarily over-priced wares, then the very notion of Christmas mail may be a thing of the past that much sooner.

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