It’s that time of year, just after Halloween when the year seems to fly by without notice. We first eat our hearts out for Thanksgiving which starts the mad shopping rush to get everyone you know the perfect gifts at the best prices, starting with “Black Friday,” “Small Business Saturday,” and finally “Cyber Monday.” Looking back at my teenage years I remember these times sitting at the dinner table with my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles sharing stories and playing board games.
For those of you who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, you may also remember these stories about how tough it was way back when. “When I was your age I had to walk uphill both ways in the snow to get to school. You kids have it so easy nowadays.” Our parents and grandparents always like to tell us how hard it was to help “toughen” us up or make us appreciate what we have. How have these stories changed and what will they turn into moving forward?
The Neilson Company reports that 88% (2016 Q3) of the US population has a smartphone, which was up 8% from prior year (2015 Q3). The top three leading age groups in the market are: 18-24 year olds, followed by 25-34 year olds and 35-44. You probably already knew this because where do us older generations go for all the tech questions we are too impatient to figure out? Our children or our nieces/nephews and younger cousins.
What does this mean during big family parties and dinners? Have you noticed the change in behaviors as I have? Eating or talking to cousins with more heads down texting, playing Candy Crush (if that's still a thing anymore), or your grandparents trying to take a million pictures on their new “digital camera,” a.k.a. cellphone so they can show their friends. Technology is everywhere and we seem to accept it but let’s not forget our natural instinct of face to face conversations and interactions. Teenagers’ stories with parents might change from walking to school in the snow to remembering the infamous “Zach Morris” cell phone or how you had to go to 10 different stores and wait 2 hours in line to find a gift instead of “free 2-day shipping.”
Has technology replaced our human interactions? What are we missing while we are consumed by our phones in line waiting to buy something or sitting at dinner talking to a friend instead of a relative? Think outside the “phone”… box, and get “hands on” during this holiday season.