I’m not much of a shopper.
For me it’s far more of a chore than a pleasure, especially at this time of year when events like Black Friday quite simply give me the chills. I can’t think of anything worse than encountering crowds of frenzied bargain hunters each willing to risk life and limb in order to grab that one seemingly unmissable offering. It’s like something from a George A. Romero zombie movie – only this one’s set in Debenhams!
And now, with Christmas just around the corner, I find myself retreating from the high street more and more, content to enjoy instead the festive glow from my monitor, safe in the knowledge that the likes of Amazon will deliver my Christmas to me in little brown boxes.
Santa’s one-on-one Skype chat
And it’s not just me! Santa too it seems has traded public appearances for virtual ones, offering a one-on-one Skype chat for all the switched on little ones and, who can blame him? Since the launch of all those Werther’s Original commercials that lap of his is nothing short of a lawsuit waiting to happen. The wonders of technology have made Santa’s busiest time of year a breeze it seems as well as an increasingly lucrative one with sites like Santa’s Hangout and SantaSkype being fully booked way before the start of November.
It makes me wonder how technology continues to change the way that holiday messages are shared and delivered around the world. I can see both the benefits and the cheerlessness of such a transition. In one sense it brings the holidays into the homes of those who aren’t able to publicly access social events, whilst on the other, it feels like a dilution of the traditional Christmas gathering.
Connecting families in new ways
But love it or loathe it, the way we celebrate the holidays has become increasingly fragmented in terms of broadcast content with Skype enabling virtual parties around the globe at any time and, connecting families in new ways via phone, tablet or desktop. Our entertainment boxes aren’t just in the corners of our living rooms any more – we carry them around with us in our pockets and I personally love the freedom and opportunities this brings.
Call it the eternal boy in me; I may well have a bah-humbug approach to Black Friday euphoria and my wife would almost certainly agree that I’m more of a scrooge than a Saint when it comes to Christmas celebrations, but in this ever-growing volatile and fragile world we live in its secretly nice to know that a one-to-one chat with Santa is just a Skype call away.
Until next time…
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, but there are only a few pre-festive weeks left for those who like to trawl the shops! Anyway, it might prove to be a worthy conclusion in next month’s column to review the year past. We are often forgetful of all the great technological things that have happened over the year, so I definitely plan to reminisce senselessly.
So, for now, this is where a reminiscent Dr G signs off.
About Dean Anthony Gratton
Dr Dean Anthony Gratton is a bestselling author and columnist, and has worked extensively within the wireless communications R&D industry. His wireless research work has been patented. You can contact Dean via his website, and follow him on Twitter (@grattonboy) to enjoy his risqué humor, witty shenanigans, social media and technology-related tweets. You can also read more about his work at deangratton.com.