The world has witnessed a continued transformation in the way Christians across the globe celebrate Christmas. While many factors have contributed to the change in the trend of celebrating this popular festival, the influence of technology is worth mentioning. The gap that once existed due to distance and time differences has been overcome thanks to advances in technology.
Advances in communication technology have especially facilitated interaction of people from different corners of the globe, meaning that distance is no longer a relevant barrier. This paper discusses the benefits of technology in the context of celebrating Christmas.
For the contemporary fast paced society, Christmas represents a short break from the daily routine of work. Before people revert back to their daily routines, they celebrate Christmas. Celebration of Christmas and the New Year for both Christians and non-Christians precedes a return to work.
During this period, blogging usually declines briefly and not much emails are sent and received. However, one technological aspect that is not affected much by the change in the overall mood of the people is the social media. In fact, use of social media tends to increase during Christmas, especially Twitter and Facebook.
The social media allows people to share stories, wish each other happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. In addition, the communication platform enables people to share pictures of how they spent their Christmas holidays, planned and organize parties, circulate photos taken in parties and comments about them on both social media and the IM chart interface (Kizito, 2013).
Christmas in those parts of the world that celebrate it, represent a time when families and acquaintances remember one another, meet and celebrate the birth of Christ and the approaching end of a year.
For example, I remember when I was a child, we used to group as a family and take pleasure in bonding with each other. We would catch up with the progress of the most individual members if not all. Those days mobile communication was not common and people communicated via writing letters to relatives and friends who live far to wish them happy holidays.
However, technological development has transformed the industrial processes tremendously. Specifically, the emergence of mobile phones has redefined the way people celebrate and share gifts and time together with other people, including relative and close friends. It ended the epoch of sending letters and marked the beginning of sending concise messages to wish our loved ones a joyous Christmas.
I vividly recall a time when I got nearly 100 text messages wishing me a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Sending short messages becomes a routine and when a person absconded from sending at least a single message, it carried a lot of weight in terms of how your relationship is faring.
It is surprising how the current society embraces technology and changes according to its dictates. In this vein, based on Kizito (2013), most people have changed into the internet bandwagon, where an entire population has a Facebook or a Twitter account. Usually, Christmas feelings start with “ring the bells” of many by 21st of December, as people start to mention Christmas and December holidays and merry messages start to crisscross the social platform.
Family and friends wished one another the best of festivals and the month of December being one for parties, one would stumble over many notifications in relation to where they ought to be and at what time during this festive month all on the most popular social media.
IM accounts also have influenced the way people celebrate a calendar custom. Occasionally, people exchange chart messages between friends and relatives wishing each other joy during the festive season. Nevertheless, despite this technological breakthrough, text messages received by people averagely falls below their expectations. For example during the 2010 Christmas I did not received more than ten SMS in my phone in relation to x-mass wishes.
The stiff competition among mobile service providers has seen the emergence of various marketing strategies, such as free SMS offers in connection to the amount of airtime fed into one’s line or those that relate to the purchase of SMS bundles at a cheaper rate. Cleary, such offers help to propel intense exchanges of messages between people. Yet, this is not always the case as my experience shows. What could probably have been the cause for this disappointment?
This is proof of the current trend in behaviors of people driven by technological improvement. People’s lifestyle is shifting towards social networks and leaving the good in the traditional mobile telephone services. Social networks will eventually become a major platform for communicating sentiments during celebrations.
Almost all communication will be passed through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, IM and other social networks. Social networks allow people to access others regardless of the geographical borders at a very little cost. The social networks allow a person to access all his or her contacts with the click of a single button, contrary to what the mobile SMS offers.
Modern Christmas tree and Lighting
The original Christmas trees resembled long-needle pine trees, although later trees had PVC sheets as needles. According to MobileReference (2007), technology has allowed the making of many trees in numerous slim designs to get into limited spaces.
Christmas lights are a major element of the Christmas celebrations. Special flasher bulbs have facilitated animation of Christmas lights. The incorporation of a bi-metallic strip into the Christmas lights aids in breaking the circuit once heating has occurred.
The control system can be arranged to alter the flashing of animation designs by pushing a button or spinning a dial on the unit. In majority of the multifunctional sets, there are between 8 and 16 light functions, with fading and chasing as the key common features. The most sophisticated Christmas tree consist of a 2-channel flashing system.
This kind of lighting system could be in groups of either 140 or 150, and the chasing effect produced calls for an alignment of the bulbs into specific circuits. The most common ones are 3 circuits of 50. The rate of power consumption for such sets is less in comparison with a normal set consisting of 150 circuits as these lights have not been switched on permanentness (MobileReference, 2007).
Traditionally, computerized sets of lights could not be connected uninterrupted. On the other hand, the newer versions of the computer set are made up of both male and female plugs.
An incandescent lamp may be used to generate animation by rotating a color wheel (MobileReference, 2007)
Primitive forms of transport had very many challenges that restricted people to a single location at a time. It required a thorough preparation long before the actual time of travel. Most people who worked far from their families and friends often missed many gatherings to celebrate Christmas with the people who matter the most to them. However, technological advances have transformed all this.
Technological developments have transformed the world into a global village both in terms of communication and physical presence. In light of the latter case, electrical trains have facilitated speedy movement of people across regions and countries. For example, someone working, in say, Sweden can get home for Christmas to his family in Spain within several hours.
Similarly, supersonic passenger jets or airplanes convey people across seas and oceans to their destinations to celebrate Christmas with their relatives. These technologies have surpassed the obstacle associated with time: people no longer have to miss family get-together because of geographic distance.
Clearly, advances in technology have influenced the way people celebrate Christmas. Technology has provided people with answers to many questions that seemed impossible a few decades ago.
Depending on the values people place on their relationship with their families or friends, they can choose to physically be present with their families at the Christmas celebration party within a matter of hours, although they could be working at another part of the globe. For those who are not able to make it for the celebrations, they can still share the Christmas experience with their loved ones by either calling or texting them on their mobile phones. Better still, they can chat on Facebook or send tweets via Twitter.
Kizito, M. T. (2013). Effects of Social Media and IM Platforms to Mobile Phone SMS. Web.
MobileReference. (2007). All About Christmas. New York: MobileReference.