Decline of greeting cards blamed on social media
In an episode of The Simpsons Abe Simpson (Grandpa) is chatting with a writer from the local Springfield newspaper. Upon hearing the reporter say 'I'm in the newspaper business', Abe says; 'Oh boy, something that's going to die before I do!'
Despite being hilarious, it raises a valid point; that original content on online media and the Internet in a wider sense is eating into traditional and mainstream forms of communication.
For example, Hallmark Cards has closed one of its major plants as social media destroys the number of cards sold, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The once-traditional gauge of how popular you are is slowly going the way of the newspaper.
The Hallmark plant in Kansas that has been shut makes a whopping one-third of all its products and 300 jobs have been lost as a result of this.
The number of cards sold in the U.S has dropped by a billion in the last five year, according to the AP, which is being attributed to not just a preclusion to communicate online but also for the public to design their own cards by downloading their own photos onto paper for that more personal touch.
The postal service in the United States has reported that snail mail correspondence has fallen by about a quarter in the last decade.
It comes as social media is starting to play a more pertinent role in politics than it has ever before. Social media trends and opinions showed that not only did president Barack Obama give a disappointing performance in the first of three debates against Republican opponent Mitt Romney, but also that many people feel that the Sesame Street character Big Bird is an endangered species (based on Romney's pledges to cut funding to PBS, the publicly-funded broadcaster responsible for the popular long standing children's program).
Opinions on social networks after events like the recent US presidential debate are becoming more and more vocal and the success or failure of a campaign or debate can be judged from an online response in a way that hasn't been done so previously.
By Tim Wright