According to an article on CNN’s website, the top gadgets for the 2010 holidays are: e-readers, tablet computers, connected TVs, 3D TVs and lastly, smartphones.
This comes to no surprise considering this generation’s desire to be connected at all times to the internet. It is assumed that all of the devices above, including the 3D TV will have either a port for an wired connection, or a built-in adapter that allows connectivity to the internet. This year’s gadget list demonstrate the popular trends all across America during the holidays in 2010.
But what the holidays really need – are not gadgets. Traditionally, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day were days to get together with family, and spend time with each other. This means it is time to “log off” of the internet and power down or silence the cell phones. As technology trends to always be connected to the internet increase, social time with family is the losing party.
It is not unheard of for household’s with a family plan to even substitute face-to-face interaction with a cell-to-cell phone call from adjacent rooms in a house. This is one prime example of how mobile technology, email, and instant messaging can inhibit social interaction. Another example is instant messaging in the work setting. It can save time spent walking over to a co-worker’s desk, but the use of instant message can also reduce face-to-face interactions. According to A. Barbour, 55% of communication is non-verbal (body language), 7% is verbal, and 38% is vocal. In cultures that heavily rely on body language and vocal tones to communicate, the technology of today can actually make communication less effective.
The implication of basing your communication just on the literal meaning of a message or email could mean losing some or part of the original intended meaning. Sarcasm is one example of something that is lost in an email.
As technology continues to revolutionize our holiday gifts, our communications and social interactions may suffer. So remember to turn off cell phones and power laptops off when Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners begin.
John D. Sutter. 5 hot gadget trends for holiday shopping. CNN.
Alton Barbour. Louder Than Words: Nonverbal Communication. Copyright 1976.