Three Modern Ways to Say Thanks

Your mother was right. Sending a thank you note when you receive a gift or when someone does something nice for you is never optional. It's a must. But in this wired world we live in, tapping out a quick email or text to express your gratitude may feel a little impersonal. In fact, a recent 2009 Yahoo/Decipher, Inc. survey found that most Internet users say nothing beats a handwritten note. Thanks to the Web, there are some fun ways to show you are taking the same time and care that an old fashioned letter entails. Here are few ideas the next time you want show your appreciation.

Show It Off

Ask someone to take a photo of you using your new gift and add some text about how much you enjoy it. Then tweet it, post it on a photo-sharing site like Flickr or on your Facebook wall. Or of course, you can email it, too. This is also a great way to get children involved at an early age and teach them about the importance of saying thank you. Snap some shots of your kids holding up their new birthday presents with at "Thank You" sign in the shot and send Grandma the link.

Create a Gallery

If you want to some something even more involved, you can put together a slideshow. I think this is a creative way to thank your friends and family when you have been the guest of honor at a party like a baby shower or even a wedding. Shoot photos of you opening your gifts and put together a little showcase and send the link to your guests.

Make It Face to Face

When it comes to saying thanks (or sending birthday wishes from afar), I am especially fond of shooting a short video of my children using TokBox.com. It is a free, very user-friendly program that allows you to send an email with a video embedded in an email message. All you need is a web cam and you are ready to go. If the recipient has a web cam, he or she can easily send you a message back. When I showed Martha Stewart TokBox, she thought it was really easy to use. Check out the video player to hear her thoughts on digital thank you's.

What are you thoughts about sending an electronic thank you instead of a card in the mail?