Christmas is coming! Across social media we can see the lights being turned on, the first mince pie being eaten, and friends attending carol-concert after carol-concert. We are all expected to have, and display, the perfect holiday season. Our gifts must be meaningful, and, in a world where everyone will see them, they must also be Insta-worthy. How much does this all add to our festive experience, or does it just remind us about all the ways in which we’re losing out..?
Whilst the Internet can make Christmas special and help us to connect with those we cannot physically be with, we must remember not to let the pressure to share online take away from the special time we could be spending with each other.
So this year, we urge you to put down your phone and to give your time and attention, your presence, as your present this year. Our annual #PresenceNotPresents digital detox challenge returns to help you remember what matters this festive season. Switch off your devices, and pay attention to your loved ones this holiday.
Let’s Make This Christmas About Presence Not Presents
Tip 1: Buy experiences
One of the biggest pressures of Christmas is getting everyone a present they will love. So, instead of trying to guess their size or if they have already read that book, why don’t you buy them an experience you can do together? By buying tickets to a show, or even a homemade voucher for dinner you can show how much you care about spending time with them!
Tip 2: Put the phone down
We have often evangelised the importance of taking some time away from your screen. Why not put all your phones in a drawer this Christmas so that you can focus on conversations with your family? You can tell others that you will be unavailable if you are worried about being unreachable – perhaps it will inspire them to do likewise!
Tip 3: Organise Analogue Activities
Christmas can often be overtaken by a posting frenzy with every moment overtaken by a need to capture it for social media. So, why don’t we take the time to go on a Christmas walk- phone free? You could have a board game tournament or decorate Christmas biscuits, all without the distraction of screens. Every time we take time out of the online bubble so spend time on analogue activities we create new memories that make each year special.
Tip 4: Volunteer
Christmas is a time to be grateful for what we have and to pass that good fortune along. Volunteering with your family could be a wonderful way to engage with your local community and a way to go beyond the mirage of social media and embrace the real people around us this Christmas.
Be a part of the digital detox movement as we enter 2020 by reminding your loved ones of how much they mean to you by actions, not just words, and by putting down your phone to invest time into them. Remember, it is your presence not presents that should matter this Christmas!