Over the years, technology has drastically changed the way we have lived our lives. There is no denying that the modern world is exorbitantly different from the world just 100 years ago. We are currently living in an era that is overwhelmed with technology to make daily living easier, and holidays are not an exception.
With the continual rise of smartphones, social media, and Internet of Things connected devices, there are an abundance of ways the holidays have changed because of the technology we use today. By the year 2020, there will be 24 billion internet connected devices installed around the world. That number is more than four devices for every one person on the planet. With the Internet so readily available to more people, communicating and interacting during the holidays is ultimately changing. Just like other types of change, holiday celebrations are neither "better" or "worse" from the past, rather they are different.
Here are the ways technology changed the way we celebrate holidays.
Holiday shopping plays a big role during holiday celebrations. Generally, one of the main events of the day, gift giving is an important gesture of gratitude. Before technology, holiday shopping was spent waiting in long lines inside busy retail shops to obtain the best deals. Once inside, there was not any guarantee that the item you needed would even be available.
Due to the Internet, all of your holiday shopping needs and discounts can be found online in the comfort of your home. No longer do you need to go to a physical location to purchase gifts to give out for the holidays. Instead, gifts can be purchased straight from the store online and even be sent to the chosen recipient. You can shop from your house, in a car, and even in a park if you desired to. Everyone is free to make purchases through their internet connected devices, no matter the location.
Additionally, online shopping has changed the delivery process of gifts. Rather than sending physical items to loved ones, services can be virtually sent over the Internet. An eGift card from a favorite store, a music subscription, and more. These options are perfect for last minute gift ideas, busy commuters, or even distant relatives.
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The hardest burden people can face is not being able to come home for the holidays. This can be due to anything from time limitations to pricing issues. Thanks to video messaging innovations such as FaceTime and Skype, families are able to celebrate together even when they can't be physically present. All you need is a webcam and an internet connected device to virtually come home for the holidays.
Before the advent of email and electronic invitation sites, invitations and cards needed to be expertly planned out to receive replies on time. The sender had to gather physical addresses, create the invitation or card, mail them out, and then wait patiently for a reply. This entire process from start to finish could take anywhere from one week to three months!
With technology, there has been a decrease of physical holiday cards and letters being sent out. Not only do they cost money, but they are environmentally unfriendly. Instead, you have the option to send e-cards to family and friends during the holiday season at virtually no cost to the individual or the environment.
In 2016 alone, more than 500 million e-cards were sent out. An electronic card (e-card) is a greeting, postcard, special occasion, or invitation that is customized within a website and is sent through the Internet. Easily find already made cards online, create a short vector animation, or make your own card through a website. Rather than hours, sending and creating an e-card can be done within minutes. Easily send an entire office an invite to a party, give your family holiday cards with life updates, or give a postcard from a destination holiday.
Whether you are shopping online this holiday season or sending seasons greetings through email, the spirit of the holidays has not changed. Technology has not altered the "why" of the holiday seasons, just the "how". Spend more time with the people you love without the previous hassles.
This is a guest post by Nick Andrew Rojas. Nick is a self-taught serial entrepreneur who has worked with various startups as a business consultant. He's also a journalist focusing on technology, marketing, and social media. He loves meeting new people online and being challenged with new projects. He loves to connect, so reach out on Twitter! @nickarojas.