Posting News: Online or USPS

Baby and dad in Recovery Room

A cell phone photo from the delivery/recovery room

We all know that communication methods are changing and emerging, but what about interpersonal messages other than Christmas cards? Thank you notes, birth announcements, condolence cards. Well thank you notes are a struggle as old as parenting itself. Getting kids to write thank you notes is harder than getting them to do homework on a sunny spring day, and even people who were coerced into this social tradition as teens seem to fall off the thank you etiquette wagon as they get older. So the question of digital or paper is probably moot. Birth announcements… well electronic media is more of a social norm for these by now, since it is young people who have babies. Today’s baby-making generation is tech-savvy, taking photos of the baby in the delivery room and blasting out the details en masse in instantaneous real time. Now you have to admit – that’s cool. Even grandma probably has a cell phone on which she can receive a pic message.
But death notifications and condolence notes are still a no-no for email and text messaging. I know people who have received both. To learn of a friend or family member’s passing via text or email is just not cool. Sometimes people also learn of a passing via a Facebook post… “R.I.P. Joe Smith.” Ouch. This often leaves the reader asking around, “Is it true? Did Joe die? What happened?” Doesn’t seem to leave much room for the hug that is usually awaiting the listener if necessary when someone notifies them of a death in a face-to-face conversation. No opportunity to say over the phone, “are you sitting down?” (I actually had to say that once during such a phone call).
So by all means, blast those baby pics out and upload them to Facebook. But when it comes to bad news, pick up the phone or pay a personal visit, and for a condolence card, paper still trumps electronic.

About Wendy L. Goldstein

A career communications professional with a deep interest in communications theory, traditional communication, social media and emerging communications technologies, Wendy L. Goldstein offers public relations, marketing and business communication services through WLG Communication,
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2 Responses to Posting News: Online or USPS

  1. Diane says:

    Wendy…great piece. I posted on my FB, and I’m enjoying your blog! Hope all is well with you 🙂

  2. Diane, Thank you! All’s well, thanks. I hope all is well with you too, I get a sense of happiness from your posts… So happy for you! – Wendy

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