Perhaps one of the best things about the internet is the availability of the card, also known as the electronic greeting card. There is such a huge selection of sites that offer ecards, it is almost impossible to even conceive of a number.

The word “free” might in a sense be misleading since the sites have to have some sort of income to exist. Hence, pop-up ads and cookies that provide for the junk mail we must endure for the seemingly free ecards. But to many, it is but a minor annoyance to endure such things for the sake of something free. Anything free seems to be a way to grab attention immediately, however temporary it may be for those who quickly learn that free is not always what it seems.

Ecards exist in an immense variety. You have the ever-popular all-occasion sites, of course. There are the Miniclip ecards, animated ecards, talking ecards, musical ecards that contribute to a cause for a small and hopeful contribution, religious ecards, flash and Java ecards, and free ecards if you subscribe to the site. Of course, that means more pop-ups and cookies will be inevitably coming your way. But, alas, we must have advertising!

Ecards are vast and interesting. The ecards with themes should win over anyone who has an obsession, such as Elvis or teddy bears, or even motorcycles. You also have ecards for all occasions and festivals of India. There are Hindu ecards as well.

Certain websites even allow public participation. You are allowed to submit your own pictures, drawings, photographs.

It’s amazing how many websites you can come across that offer free ecards. Know, as well, that you can use different keywords to search for the ecards. Not to forget, the different search engines should provide differing results.

The invention of the ecard was certainly an invention for the curious. It might also be an invention to cause dismay should you have a slow internet connection or should your computer suddenly shut-down on you before you are allowed to finish viewing your ecard from a much-adored friend or loved one. It’s like trying to view a card you receive in snail mail, only to have it snatched out of your hand before you get to the much-awaited punch line. Oh, the horror!

I suppose there are those who are hooked on sending ecards. They are, after all, a source of amusement for many. Most people do need a good hearty laugh. However, sending in bulk could be viewed in bad taste. No one wants their inbox of email to be overwhelmed, even by ecards. So, please use discretion and self-control when you discover the interesting and joyous world of ecards. Besides, isn’t there some sort of rules to govern good manners, even when using our rights to something free? It’s like taking the whole stack of napkins off the restaurant table when you really only need a few. Someone somewhere has to pay for them, and though they do offer them for free, there’s really no need to be greedy.