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Who Will You Spend the Holidays With?

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The holidays are classically a time spent with family, but with smartphones gaining more features and social media becoming more prominent, it’s not always as family oriented in the current times.

Honestly, I feel like America has gone to the dogs when it comes to technology. We spend way too much time online and get way too obsessed with it. Around the holidays, most of the things circling around the media are pictures of traditional foods, holiday shopping, or funny things friends or family are doing. I feel like this takes away from experiences. You’re so focused on the media that you’re not focused on the actual holiday.

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year, and Thanksgiving and Easter aren’t far behind. There’s a lot more to these holidays than presents and food. A lot of people get so distracted by their phones that they don’t actually get this. The holidays, whatever you celebrate, are usually about giving and spending time with family. Most of the winter holidays are about religions too, like Christmas being about the birth of Jesus.

In my personal experience, holidays are never the same with your phone.

For example, taking photos. Usually my family goes on a trip around the holidays. There’s so much to look at that I’m always on my phone to take photos rather than just celebrating the holiday with family. It’s great to capture all of what I’m seeing, but then, once the trip is over, I feel like I’m living my life through a screen. I want to go back on holiday. It’s like I never even saw what I took a photo or video of. Because, really, I’m not even looking at it. I’m staring at a phone screen. It just doesn’t feel right.

Or maybe I’m at home for Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day lunch with my family. A lot of my relatives are either really old (no offense), or really young, so I’m kinda stuck in the middle. Usually I pull out my phone and start playing games or looking at articles online. I find that my whole day is sort of spoiled because my family was talking and having fun while I sat in a corner all on my lonesome. I go to bed all grumpy because the day was wasted on something boring.

Even most recently, this Thanksgiving my family went to Disney World, and practically the whole time I was playing Pokémon GO. I had so much fun, but I realized I never really got to look around and enjoy Disney World, Thanksgiving, and my family nearly as much as I usually do. I was absorbed in my phone too much.

So it’s games, internet, and, as I said before, social media. Me, I really don’t like social media, and I would prefer not to have it, but I did succumb to getting Snapchat.

I was once proud to say that I didn’t own any social media accounts, but now recently having gotten snapchat, I’ve noticed something. So far whenever it’s a holiday, I, like many others, will post something for it. “Happy 4th of July,” or maybe, “Happy Thanksgiving.” But there are always some people that show no signs of activity whatsoever on holidays. They won’t post anything, or maybe they don’t even view any of my posts. I almost feel proud of whoever it is, I applaud them for not letting social media distract them from family. I really don’t know why they’re inactive, but that’s what I assume about the occurrence. It’s what I hope at least.

And that happened to me. When I wasn’t playing Pokémon GO this Thanksgiving, I was having so much fun, I didn’t have time for Snapchat. As weird as it sounds, I sort of felt…free, I guess. I didn’t have to check my views or see what other people had going on, I could just spend time having fun and bonding with my family. I didn’t want to be all reclusive and stick to my phone all day.

So this Christmas I want to challenge myself to not look at Snapchat or use my phone when I’m with family. Not even if I have time. I’ve found that though my younger family members can be prying and annoying, and though my older ones can be prying and boring, I love them all and have loads more fun when I actually spend time talking to them and playing with them. I can’t just ignore them when they’ve taken care of me all of my life.

I encourage you to do the same. Whatever holiday you might celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or nothing at all. America is so technology crazed these days, we never spend any time actually living in the moment. Instead, we post it all online, or we waste our time surfing around online. Memories last longer when viewed through the eyes, not through a screen. So. Who will you spend your holidays with? Your phone? Or your family?

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