Social media is quickly becoming the most popular way to celebrate and send congratulations and this rise in popularity could spell the end of the greetings card industry.
According to a report by Associated Press, more people are now opting to send a message via Facebook to mark a birthday, celebrate a birth or congratulate on a new job.
Greetings cards are increasingly becoming something you send for a very special occasion with e-cards and social media messages covering all other occasions.
last week the largest greetings card maker in the US, Hallmark Cards Inc, announced that they will be closing a Kansas plant of their business.
The Kansas plant made one third of all the greetings cards sold by Hallmark and future consolidations of the company will see 300 people potentially loosing their jobs.
The senior Vice President of Hallmark, Pete Burney, told Associated Press that “competition in our industry is indeed formidable” and he added that “consumers do have more ways to connect digitally and online and through social media.”
Hallmark have estimated that the number of greetings cards being sold in the US has fallen from six billion to five billion cards sold each year.
People are still sending cards but it seems that these are now much fewer than before with many only choosing to send an actual paper card to only the closest of friends and family or only for very special occasions.
More and more people are now happy to show that they have remembered a special occasion by posting on a Facebook wall or by sending an email or text message.
A large number of people have opted to swap sending posted cards and enjoy sending e-cards that they have personalized for the person receiving the card.
And paper cards that are still being sent still often have a digital side to them with a growing number of card senders customising their own cards online with uploaded images and their own personal greetings.
The fall in traditional ways of communicating and the rise of the power of social media is not only reflected in the fall in the number of greetings cards sold around the world but also in the fall in the number of people using the postal service for personal correspondence.
According to a US Postal Service study the number of greetings cards sent between 2002 and 2010 fell by 24 percent with the number of invitations being sent by post dropping by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010 alone.
The survey found that the fall in the use of the postal service could be put down to “changing demographics and new technologies,” while younger people “both send and receive fewer pieces of correspondence mail because they tend to be early adopters of new and faster communication media.”
It is still great to get a letter or a card in the post but fewer and fewer people are coming to expect the cards on the doormat on their birthday morning and more are instead logging on to Facebook to see who has remembered their birthday or will be celebrating with them at an event.