Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The end of the personal touch?

As recently as just a few years ago, by this time of the season, the credenza behind my desk would already be stacked full of Christmas and holiday cards, full of good wishes for the coming year, expressions of appreciation for having done business together, or just simple messages of warmth and good cheer. My VNA of Boston colleague, Jeff Smith, recently commented on how different this all seems now compared to years past when such cards were commonplace. For a time, it appeared as though paper and pen were being replaced by digital versions - emailed messages with links to clever, typically animated versions of holiday cards. Though I've received a few of these this year, it does not appear that these "eCards" are poised to become the new Hallmark.

Living in an email, Facebook, instant messaging, texting, Twittering world where communication is fast and instant, taking the time to select, order, pay for, prepare and mail handwritten correspondence seems archaic, prehistoric. Maybe even ridiculous.

But perhaps it is because of the lightening pace of communication today and the fact that credenzas everywhere lie bare, that taking the time to send old fashioned holiday cards does make the most sense, now more than ever. Perhaps today a holiday card expresses a deeper sentiment. While a "thanks for your business" note on a card a few years ago might have seemed perfunctory, superficial... maybe now it suggests that the sender really does appreciate the business and that his or her willingness to take that time to do what seems antiquated and even unnecessary is propelled simply by a timeless sense of true appreciation. And maybe that lone card sitting in someone's office stands as testimony and tribute to the personal touch that seems increasingly rare.

I think I'm on to something here. I'm going to Tweet this out to all of my followers right away...

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