Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holidays and Technology

Last week I blogged about the holidays and social networking.

This week, let’s consider how changing technology affects the holidays--and it definitely does... or it can!

I recently mailed out a bunch of Christmas cards, including a letter in most of them about what my family and I did this past year. I’ve been doing that forever. But I have to say that, as I stuck the snail-mail stamps on, I wondered whether it wouldn’t be better to just send e-cards and include the same newsy stuff there. I’d save the cost of the stamps, for one thing. Plus, over the course of time, I’m sure a lot of trees have been cut down to handle the paper in the cards I’ve sent and their envelopes.

On the other hand, if I send only e-cards--and especially if everyone else does the same--just think of all the negative effects on the incomes of the people who design and sell cards, the retailers, and the post office staff. Besides, isn’t it fun to check the mail and see whose cards have arrived at your house each day?

Then there are presents. I admit to being woefully behind in knowing the differences between brands of smart phones, e-readers and electronic games, as well as other technological things that can be given as gifts. But still, those kinds of items are definitely fun to give--and receive--as presents. Practical gifts include things like memory sticks and removable drives to make sure things on computers are backed up and less likely to be lost. Some of the memory sticks are even pretty, with bright colors or patterns. Others are cute, in shapes of little characters. The types of memory gadgetry seem to change and substantially grow in capacity from one holiday season to the next. I still have floppy disks of various sizes that I can no longer use but fortunately have at least all my recent work saved in formats that I can still access!

Computers themselves can make good gifts. They seem to grow smaller all the time--or at least you can choose smaller ones. Some also have features that seem to be interchangeable with newer e-readers. Have I figured them all out? Hardly. But as I decide I need some new type of gadget, I study what’s available and the different features I can get. And then I rely on my sons, who know what they’re doing, to advise me.

So--what techie gadgets are you giving this holiday season? What kinds do you hope to receive? Do you already know how to work with them? If not, how do you intend to learn? And how are they all different from those you considered last year? Five years ago?

Happy Holidays, everyone!


Betty Hechtman said...

I have noticed a huge drop in Christmas cards this year. It seems like all the one's we've gotten have been from law firms and other stuff connected with my husband's business.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I like the new wintery Forever Stamps that are on sale now and work for those cards I did send, Betty. We've gotten some cards from friends, but not as many as in the past.