NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Andy Jorgensen
‘Tis the season of giving and family together time. Last year, we spent a record $5 billion on the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. Sales reached a frenzied peak of more than a million dollars a minute on just one major online retail platform, Shopify!
Much of that spending was directed at amazing tech gadgets, and we can imagine this year will be no different. How many of your family members are asking for Xboxen, Nintendo Switches and 3DSs, iPads, iPhones, Chromebooks, PlayStations, digital assistants (that are totally spying on you, by the way), and bigger, brighter 4K TV sets? Many of those things are probably currently chillin’ under the ol’ Yule tree as we speak.
Here it comes — let us pause for a moment to remember the reason for the season, well, every season, really. These gadgets are truly amazing feats of wizardry, and they stand to only get more engaging over time as they begin to augment and enhance reality itself as we know it. We are people, and we like to look at screens. This makes our time together as family and friends all the more precious and valuable.
The thing people need more than anything isn’t a thing at all; it is connection. This is, by far, without a doubt, the most valuable thing we can offer to our loved ones. A quick Google search with the terms, “people need connection research” turns up a variety of well-founded articles on the importance of human connection to our health and well-being.
This is especially true for the young ones in our lives, whose lives will be forever shaped by the experiences they have now. Think on that one for a minute. Forever shaped. Forever. That’s a long time.
Now, our reaction could be to turn away from this heavy responsibility and turn on the ol’ boob-tube, but maybe we try something different this time. Many of us have the privilege to be with our kith and kin between shopping and working over the next couple of weeks. I plan on making an extra effort to be conscious and aware of the precious time we have together and how fleeting it is.
Some ways we can do this, and this is especially important for the young ones, are to put down the distractions and share conversations about our lives. Maybe share a nice walk. Ask the kids about what they are doing and what they are interested in. Listen without giving advice or other inputs. Just appreciate and laugh, if appropriate. Now is the time. Our time and attention can’t be bought, and they are still the most valuable gifts we have to give.
Andy Jorgensen does QC and IT for Rehearsal and is NCET’s VP of creative services. Rehearsal is a video-based practice platform that helps people practice their skills for when they need them to pay the bills. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.