Greeting cards fast becoming passé?

Kathmandu, September 30 :

The ever increasing sale of computers and the use of the Internet could be said to have literally sealed the fate of paper greeting cards. At least this is the initial journalistic impression. But the world is fairly well divided on the issue.

“Certainly the sale of greeting cards in on the decline. Not many should expect to benefit from selling such cards now,” said Binod Bista, who runs a stationery outlet in downtown Baneswor.

He lamented the drop in the sale of greeting cards following the popularisation of the Internet and mobile telephony. “Gone are the days when youngsters bought greeting cards for their loved ones. They now pick exotic things from the net. Then there is the SMS service,” Bista further said, adding that some, however, still strangely stick to paper cards.

He referred to the continued popularity of the paper cards among government officials and members of the political establishment.

There are some who claim that e-cards cannot certainly replace their paper cards in a comprehensive manner. “SMSs and e-mails have spelled doom of a sort. But there is no substitute for branded cards like Archies. They still sell. Innovation is all,” Ramesh Rijal said, claiming that the paper card makers still stand some chance.

This does not mean that e-cards have less following. Look at it in the light of the fact that google search for e-greetigs throws up over 800,000 links in an instant.

But Allen Tuladhar, who is a strong apologist of Internet in the country, is of the view that society has not yet appreciated Internet as a vehicle of true emotions.

“We communicate via e-mails and SMSs. But when it comes to establishing a better rapport we go back to paper cards. That alone, many feel, can do the needful,” Tuladhar said, adding “ handwritten meassages on beautiful cards can move mountains.”

This has been corroborated by what Nepali Congress (NC) leader Arjun Narsingh KC said on the issue. “I have sent out paper cards to party leaders, Members of Parliament and chiefs of district units of the party. To the rest I have sent SMSs,” KC told The Himalayan Times. “I have sent 1,000 SMS.”