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The holiday season has always been one of deep-seated traditions, some that draw from ancient customs, and some that are inspired by more contemporary trends. These traditions have been shaped, and often inspired by, the technology available in the day. Today, we’ll reflect on how the technologies we have now have impacted our celebratory traditions.
While the practice of sending holiday cards has always seen dips and rises, today’s technology has largely reduced the popularity of a physical card sent in the mail. Social media has made it much easier to keep in regular touch with friends and relatives and stay up-to-date on the events in their life. As a result, the importance of a holiday card or self-produced family newsletter has diminished. Additionally, the younger generations are less accustomed to physical correspondence, and so are not likely to change their preferred means of communication -- social media and other digital avenues -- during a single season.
Automation to Make Life Easier
There is no denying that this time of year is a stressful one, with so many considerations to make in preparation for celebrating the holiday. This stress is only added to that which comes from the tasks of everyday life, that unfortunately, doesn’t go away during these weeks.
However, the ability that we have today to automate many tasks through technology can help to simplify things. The menial, but necessary, tasks like grocery shopping and paying bills can be set to automatically take place, freeing up schedules to be filled with holiday concerns.
Regardless of what you see as being “the reason for the season,” it is undeniable that retail and commercialism are a significant portion of the holiday. As such, it should come as no surprise that technology has made a considerable impact on this tradition as well. The rise of online retailers has forced brick-and-mortar stores to adapt and integrate their online presence with their physical location, as well as offer an improved shopping experience for those who do visit in person.
Furthermore, stores are embracing technologies to improve their own processes as well. Online price tracking allows a customer to increase their chances of finding the best available deal, while smart shelves and beacon technology allows them to find the item they’re looking for while it is in-stock. NFC technology, or near-field communication, provides these shoppers with a more convenient means of completing a transaction with their mobile device.
However, it is also undeniable that online shopping is booming. With so many retailers competing for their shoppers’ dollars, the holiday season is one of the biggest times of the year to find sales, bargains, and other incentives. Specialized browser plugins can help shoppers find the best deals (or discount codes) for the items they are searching for as well.
Of course, this is just a small sample of the effects that technology has had on the holiday season. What other changes can you think of?
From all of us at Digital Seattle, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and great success in the new year.