Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Fading Tradition?

Debra ponders how technology has changed the way we do things.

I still send out Christmas cards every year. Some I send to people I see everyday as a greeting for the season. Others I send to people I hardly ever see or those I never see. The cards are a way to keep in contact with those who have been an important part of my life in the past. I always write a brief, personal note in each. Usually, I receive as many or more cards than I send. Not this year. This year, at least so far, our kitchen door is looking a bit bare.

It made me wonder? Will Christmas cards soon be a thing of the past?

Will people just send an e-mail or a text or post to Facebook? To me, this completely takes away the personal touch of a handwritten card.

Which brings me to letter writing. Talk about a thing of the past. No one writes letters anymore. At least by hand. And e-mails are riddled with grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors to an infuriating extent.

And don't even get me started on texting. We are creating a generation of people who can't spell or communicate in full sentences.

My boss sent around an interesting article which stated many companies are now requiring a writing sample as part of a job interview. Companies are looking for people who can communicate effectively. Sadly, even with hundreds of applicants available and looking for work, some positions aren't being filled because qualified candidates can't be found. Such a sad commentary on how technology isn't always a good thing.

As an author, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on effective written communication. What I don't have a grasp on is books...literally. Half of the books I read now are on my Kindle. Electronic books aren't the wave of the future, they are now. But I miss Borders. I loved walking in there and being surrounded by thousands of books. (Thank goodness I can still get that feeling at the library.) And there are still books I buy as books, whether to complete a collection or just because there's nothing like holding a paperback in your hands, breathing in the smell of the pages and ink. Or feeling the weight of a hardcover shift from one hand to the other as you make your way further into the story. But even my own books sell far more in e-format than in paperback. Although a sale is a sale, so I'm not complaining.

There are just some things I miss when the world changes so quickly we have to run to keep up.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Interesting post, Debra. Funnily enough, I was just thinking I hadn't received as many cards this year and lots of people I see are handing them over to save postage, which makes sense. I too read both on kindle and in print!

  2. The changes brought by technology are impossible to oppose, it seems. Our challenge is to carry on the spirit of personal cards in this new age.
    Christmas cards are so pretty, but I must confess that I stopped sending them a few years ago due to a dearth of time and, as Rosemary said, money. Too bad I'm not telepathic. Everyone I care about would get a "tele-gram."

  3. I've noticed the same thing about holiday cards. We have received way fewer this year.

  4. Rosemary, the postage is a big part of it too. I wonder how long it will be before the post office is a thing of the past.

    Ana, I like the idea of carrying on the spirit of things even in this age of technology. And it probably won't be long before we have some kind of chip imbedded in ourselves and we'll be able to send those kinds of messages.

    Jen, My hubby read somewhere (on his iPhone I'm sure!) that cards were lower in numbers in general this year.

  5. I usually send/give (and receive) about 100 cards, but I've cut back on the sending since the postage rocketed in price. I have a lot of friends in America and Canada, but couldn't afford to send cards to them all, so e-cards or email messages offer a better alternative.
    I must admit I rarely write a 'real' letter these days, but at least I know how to!
    However, I think we have to accept that communication is changing - but that seems to be accompanied by a lowering of standards of grammar, spelling, punctuation etc. Those of us who cringe at grammar errors are likely to be known as 'grammar nazis' by those who make those errors!

  6. Paula, I guess that's what gets me...not the discontinuation of pen and paper communication, but the lowered standards that goes along with the electronic versions.