Medium of the message

Updated: 2012-01-28 07:22

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

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Medium of the message

Students at Xinhai Primary School in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, holding their handmade New Year greeting cards on Dec 31, 2011. The cards will be given to their teachers, parents and classmates. Geng Yuhe / For China Daily

Paper greeting cards are making a comeback after seemingly being consigned to history by cell phones and the Internet, Wang Qingyun reports.

Greeting cards had their heyday in the late 1990s, when kids exchanged cards decorated with images of cartoon figures or pop stars. However, cell phones and the Internet have consigned such cards to the past for today's widely connected youngsters. Yu Donglei, 27, who works for a consultancy company in Beijing, said greeting cards were popular in his early school years, but, "the last greeting card I sent was to my junior middle school teacher in 2000". Now Yu uses his cell phone to send his new-year greetings and keep in touch.

"When I send somebody a message, it comes to my mind how I met them and what I remember most about them. And it lets them know I care about them," said Yu.

This New Year, Yu sent SMS greetings to more than 500 people, addressing each recipient individually by name.

"You may be very happy upon receiving a greeting card, but what if you receive a hundred of them?" said Yu who receives at least a hundred greeting messages during the Spring Festival period.

Yang Xiaohan, 24, a graduate student at Renmin University, used to send greeting cards when he was in primary school, and he still keeps about 30 greeting cards he has received over the years from his classmates. But like Yu, he rarely sends a paper greeting card anymore.

"Now I usually call somebody if I want to give them a holiday greeting. We can speak to each other and thus feel closer."

Like Yu, when Yang does send an SMS greeting, he prefers to spend time composing a personalized message.

"I send greeting messages using different words to different people, so I don't send many of them. My real friends won't mind it if I fail to greet them with a message."

But Su Hao, a 25-year-old procurement staff member at a gift company in Beijing, usually copy and pastes pre-designed greeting messages, so "the greeting becomes a mere formality."

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