It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Ahhh, Christmas. A time for over-indulging in your favourite foods, keeping your toes cosy with that pair of socks from the grandparents, and secretly hating your aunt for giving the kids that toy that repeats “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” on and on and on… Sat on the sofa, you’re cuddled up with loved ones, watching Cool Runnings (probably) while you wonder when it’s acceptable to go back for that last roast potato. What could possibly be better? In this blog, we take a look at the affects of digital on your traditional Christmas.
Traditionally regarded as ‘family time’, the Christmas period has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Previously seen as the time of year when you can drop work and spend time with those in your life that you love, the digital revolution has now had an impact on this very traditional day.
The ability to globally connect also means sharing is happening like never before. It’s possible to wish a Merry Christmas to your gran in Greece, your bestie in Buenos Aires and your auntie in Australia, without leaving the comfort of your Christmas onesie (or your sofa). If you have ever been away from home at Christmas, you will know the small joys of being able to Skype back to the familiar tree, with the slightly dodgy angel on the top. This greater connectivity means, for many, a less lonely Christmas. No matter where you are in the world, you can share the season with those closest to you.
How important is that brussel sprout selfie?
For some, however, it may only increase their feeling of isolation. Our ability to share, share and overshare means our social feeds are flooded with a barrage of idealistic images of everyone’s ‘perfect’ Christmas. For those who may not be having the greatest season, this stands as a stark reminder of what they do not have in front of them.
Getting distracted by digital devices is something we are all familiar with. Take a look around you right now, and see how many people are engrossed in one screen or another. On Christmas Day itself, you can watch various relatives disappear behind their screens as they ‘capture the moment’, spending 30 minutes putting the perfect filter on, and then three hours of liking every other artistically-positioned brussel sprout.
Occasionally you may tag each other in a Christmas-related meme and glance up to exchange a real-life ‘lol’, but you may find yourself spending more time staring at your screen than speaking to the people who matter.
If you’re of the younger generation, then you’ve probably heard the frustrated requests from your Grandparents to ‘put that thing down for five minutes!’ Actually… if you’re of any generation nowadays. Hands up if your Grandma has a tablet? (and we don’t mean the ones for her creaky bones…)
Whether you’re being bombarded by social notifications, distracted by work email threads or set upon early by the Boxing Day sale ads, it’s hard to ignore the buzzing and flashing in favour of yet another game of Cluedo.
Christmas Day is the biggest mobile shopping day in the UK; there are 34% more shopping searches on Christmas Day than on Black Friday, with 62% of online purchases on the day being made via smartphone. More than half of these buyers are taking advantage of the sales to procure gifts for themselves that Santa failed to bring. Online searches for sportswear also experience uplift; potentially as their Christmas dinner begins to settle, and shoppers consider their New Year’s resolutions.
Digital isn’t all doom and gloom though. Here are three reasons why:
1) No more hunting for the TV Guide, or desperately ransacking the bag of Christmas wrapping paper to find out if you’ve accidentally binned the Radio Times. All hail internet TV listings! Although, this may be a loss to anyone who has hidden the guide in an attempt to avoid anyone flicking over mid-way through the Doctor Who Christmas special.
2) Christmas game apps. Heads Up and Charades are particular favourites. If all is descending into chaos, having the ability to quickly structure a game without cutting up twenty bits of paper and hunting out a Biro is a gem.
3) We’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating. Skype. Facetime. Messenger Video. Calling everyone you love. Seeing Uncle Dave head to toe in tinsel with reindeer antlers on, singing ‘It’s Christmas’ at the top of his lungs.
A digital Christmas. What does it mean to you? Ensure your tech allows you to spread the love, and not detract from it. Take advantage of the opportunity to turn off your email notifications for a few days and revel in connecting with real people (even if you occasionally wish they had an unsubscribe option).
From everyone here at Sleeping Giant Media, we wish you a GIANT Christmas!