How iPhone Postcard Apps Work

Author's Note

I don't have an iPhone, so, in addition to my research, I enlisted the aid of someone who does. He downloaded Photogram and Postagram and sent me postcards from Memorial Day weekend at Lake Havasu, AZ. Very interesting! As I worked on this article, I was interested in how new technologies allow us to return to older practices. Yes, people enjoy snapping pictures with their phones and instantly texting them or uploading them to social media. But they also enjoy sending and receiving real postcards. And today's postcards are so cool, with personalized pictures and messages. It was interesting, too, that some of the apps that generate physical postcards also include ways to get a digital copy that can be posted online. So we've come full circle, with old and new ways of communicating. That made me wonder if predictions that the printed word is becoming obsolete are premature.

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