I received my first Christmas e-card last week. This surprised me on two counts. First, that anyone would be organised enough to send Christmas cards in the first week of December; and second, that sharing the peace and goodwill of the Christmas season had been reduced to the single click of a mouse, writes Monica Dutton in The Good Oil.
Rapid advances in technology and easy access to instant worldwide communication devices have undoubtedly changed the way we live, and certainly the way we celebrate Christmas. December 2012 marks 20 years since the first text message was sent.
What was the message? Merry Christmas! It is predicted Australians will spend $32 billion on Christmas this year; $5.4 billion was spent in the first week of December alone, with $767 million of this being spent online, according to The Australian. Fortunately, our i-friend Mr Apple has come to the rescue with a range of apps to assist harried shoppers keep track of their Christmas spending!
After opening my super high-tech online Christmas greeting, I decided to investigate a few Christmas e-card sites myself – only to find them totally uncluttered by anything resembling the traditional symbols we associate with the Christmas story.
Not a manger, shepherd, angel or wise man to be seen – not to mention Mary, Joseph or any sign of a baby. This started me thinking. With the addition of technology to the Christmas story, the traditional nativity scene we are so familiar with, would look very different…
If Joseph had booked ahead on Wotif for example, he could have viewed all available accommodation in the little town of Bethlehem online. He may even have been able to get an upgrade, or at the very least, a last-minute red hot deal (click – delete manger).
He could have simply texted the news of the baby’s arrival to the shepherds watching their flocks by night (click – delete shepherds), and then uploaded photos of the newborn king from his iPad to the Holy Family Facebook page (click – delete herald angels). There would have been thousands of ‘likes’ posted before the Star in the East had faded into the dawning of that first Christmas morn.
The three kings of Orient, bearing gifts and traversing afar, would have been able to navigate field and fountain, moor and mountain with much less difficulty had they had the assistance of a GPS (click – delete star of wonder, star of night).
By the time they finally made it to Bethlehem, Mary, like most 14-year-olds, would have been so busy blogging and tweeting her friends back home in Nazareth, she would hardly have noticed their arrival (click – delete three aforementioned kings). Also, by today’s standards, their said wisdom may have been called into question with regard to gift selection.
They almost certainly would have been bearing gifts a little more appropriate for a young mother and her newborn baby if they had looked on eBay before they left the Orient! (click – delete gold, frankincense and myrrh).
FULL STORY Technology and the Christmas story (The Good Oil)