As the Internet continues to grow in use and popularity among individuals of all ages, genders, and races, it is only natural that certain unique offerings from online would grow in popularity, as well. E-cards are a prime example of this. While there are plenty of websites that sell e-cards on everything from holidays, to basic jokes, to even customizable messages, there are just as many websites that offer free e-cards. As long as you have an e-mail address, you have the ability to send a friend or loved one an e-card for free. Increasingly, this is an offer that is becoming harder and harder to refuse.
E-cards are coloful, can include music and animation, and include a large variety of subjects that may not be covered by Hallmark or the other major card companies. Being the Internet, there are plenty of “racey” or “gag” cards as well, which are finding large popularity with college students, and increasingly, even their parents. There are e-cards from everything from the sad (funerals, loss) to religious (Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu—you name it, if its allowed you can find it) to the irreverant. An additional popularity of e-cards is the number of cards that are just there. There are thousands of choices for cards that are just to say hello. A person can even find a card that is nothing but background, and put their own custom message in. The options are literally nearly endless.
An odd, almost funny (as long as you’re not receiving it) new use of the e-card was found by Hallmark Greeting Cards, of all people. A recent study they conducted found that e-cards were sometimes used by men, and even more often by women, to attempt to maintain an on-going romantic relationship. The report found that almost half of women who used the Internet frequently apologized over e-mail, often times as an e-card. The general consensus was that a really nice card could be sent to give an apology that was too difficult to make in person. Unfotunately, there were also about 1 in 10 peope who responded by sending an e-card informing the individual that they were now offically dumped. Harsh.
One college student who was surveyed gave a very simple and common sense answer as to why e-cards were becoming so popular. “You can spend twenty minutes on-line and send cards to thirty different people.” Definitely saves the money and the time come finals week, and the increasing trend towards e-cards in lieu of greeting cards continues unabated.