Most of us eagerly await this time of year and allow ourselves to get carried away by the magic of Christmas. It’s the season when we’re more generous, more excited, and have even more desire to share good times with our nearest and dearest. After all, Christmas is traditionally the time for sharing.
According to its literal dictionary definition, sharing is “Using, occupying, or enjoying (something) jointly with another or others.” However, over the past few years we’ve been seeing a change in the meaning of this word. While before we used to actually share a blanket on a wintry day, now we just share a GIF showing a character who’s pulling a blanket up to his nose. In the same way, it’s becoming more and more difficult to actually share a wine over a dinner with friends; instead, it’s a lot easier to share a wine through pictures of our latest recipe. We share laughter as an emoji or songs through an app, but when was the last time your turned up the music and put your favorite song on for someone?
We don’t want this post to turn into a rant against new technologies in general, or against social networks in particular. We’re aware of all the benefits they bring us. In fact, this Christmas, many people will be feeling a little closer to their loved ones thanks to their smartphones. But the truth is that perhaps we’ve crossed a line and that we’re too connected on a virtual level and increasingly less so in real life.
Does that sound like an exaggeration? Let’s do a test: Log in to your Instagram profile and go straight to the three lines at the top right-hand corner. Once there, tap on “Your activity.” On average, how much time per day do you spend on this social network? There you go. If you have an iPhone, you can go one step further and find out how much time per day you spend on each of your phone’s apps. We’re sure you’ll be surprised by the information that shows up on your screen.
For all these reasons, in this year’s Christmas greeting, we’re again emphasizing the need to forget about our smartphones and make the most of every moment.
This year, we here at Jean Leon have suggested lots of things to share, but in the original sense of the word. You don’t need to make any radical changes; just small gestures are enough. Put away your cell phone the next time you’re out for a coffee with friends, do a digital detox when you get home from work, don’t go straight for your phone as soon as you wake up. Use your phone to connect with your loved ones, then forget about it and focus on listening more, laughing more, and living more. So, this Christmas, make sure you do a lot of sharing, but in the traditional way.