Sunday, December 19, 2010

Technology and Christmas

It's fascinating to me how fast technology becomes obsolete. Every year it's a new gadget especially this time of year! Video gaming units, HD or 3D TVs, satellite radio, EBook Readers, with each turn of the calendar, there's something new coming down the pipe.

This video was broadcast here in Canada in 2003, long before EVERYONE had a cell or smart phone as we live now!

2010 appears to be the year of the iPhone4. The lure of a function called FaceTime has left many drooling for the new function, especially during the holiday season. Here's Apple's ad promoting it:

For many of us, members of our families are flung around the globe and we ache to be geographically closer. I have talked to my nephew on the phone in England during the holidays but in later years got to see he and his sister open their gifts via webcam. This kind of technology is so precious!

But it still saddens me as I get prepared to take the train to visit relatives, that I will see most with their heads down on the old Via Rail. Almost every train is now equipped with WiFi and many that commute to larger centres like Toronto, bring their laptops to do work on the way to their place of business. Most in the coming days however will also be toting a smart phone of some description letting Mom and Dad know when their train gets in. It is possible to go from point A to point B, a 5 hour journey say, and not speak to a soul! I think social networking, texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, are so popular because every human soul needs validation. Someone to care. It used to be that face to face conversing was the best form of that but someone responding to your pithy Facebook status is a form of validation. Getting text messages constantly, validation. Tons of Twitter followers, validation.

While the gadgets come in handy for travelling (What did we do before cell phones and people had to drive to Grandma's house in a snowstorm for Christmas dinner???) I think it's important to have that REAL "facetime" with the people you love! Put the smart phone away, you don't need it! Is it really necessary to let all your Facebook friends know you are now carving the turkey? TALK to one another people! Enjoy your family while they are still around!

When a smart phone loses it's dazzle, it can be recycled and forgotten.

Friends and family cannot!

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