Our lives have been changed drastically by the advent of technology. Much of the ways we go about our daily activities have been radically altered, making many elements unrecognizable to anyone just a decade ago.
Christmas has not escaped this, with technology changing every single part of it. Tech has changed what we do in the run-up to the event as well as the day itself. Some would argue these changes are for the better, while others may say that it is leading to a loss of tradition. Regardless of your views, there is no escaping from the fact that these changes have taken place.
Here are some of the ways that technology has changed Christmas.
There have always been two types of Christmas shoppers. Ones that do it well in advance of the event, allowing them to be relaxed on the run-up to the big day. The others leave it to the absolute last minute, often rushing around on Christmas Eve in a last-ditch attempt to find the right gifts for their loved ones.
Technology has created a third type of Christmas shopper. The ones that do it all online, allowing them to stay at home and avoid the hustle and bustle of the manic high streets and shopping centers.
Online shopping and now mobile shopping allows us to buy from wherever we are, 24 hours a day. We can do it when is most convenient for us, and not have to fight for space in overcrowded department stores. Even our food shopping can be delivered to us, with a delivery slot booked so we don’t need to worry about storing large quantities of food.
Promotions and Advertising
It’s not just the transactions themselves that have moved online, technology has been used to boost the way Christmas promotions are delivered to consumers. A barrage of promotional emails offering discounts and festive products bombard consumers every day.
Since most adults now have a smartphone, this means that these messages can be delivered to the pockets of millions of consumers, wherever they are, no matter what they’re doing – something that has previously never been possible. Online promotions exist in almost every sector, from Amazon’s lightning deals to Sky Vegas’ festive feast of free spins, making it difficult for smaller brands and niche companies to break through the noise.
The Gifts Themselves
It’s not just how we buy gifts that have changed. Some of the biggest gifts during the holiday season are tech products. Be they smartphones, tablets, laptops, wireless headphones, fitness trackers, or some other device packed to the gills with silicone chips. Traditional gifts have fallen out of favor.
For Christmas 2019, it is predicted that some of the most popular gifts will include smart speakers, wireless headphones, retro games consoles, and drones.
The Way We Celebrate With Friends
As well as the shops, for whom a final couple of months of the year are the biggest and most profitable part of the calendar, postal services and couriers also see a big increase in demand.
Sending gifts, letters, and cards have been a tradition for hundreds of years. Letters and cards were the only practical way to send well wishes to loved ones who lived far away. However, technology has changed this. Social media companies like Facebook and VoIP services like Skype have made it possible to communicate with friends and loved ones in ways that were not previously possible.
Instead of a smaller message written on a piece of paper, we are now able to see each other in high definition and have natural conversations, just like we were next to each other. With 3 billion minutes spent on Skype each day, it is clear how these services can make us feel closer together over the festive season.
Technology has changed our lives dramatically over the last few decades, and Christmas has not escaped this. From what we buy, to how we do it, technology has made the festive season more convenient and helped us to be closer to our loved ones.