Turkey Tech: How Silicon Valley Shaped the Modern Thanksgiving
On today’s episode of the Tech Talk Tuesday podcast, Ryan McQueeney discusses how technology-and several of the world’s largest tech companies-have helped the traditional pleasures of Thanksgiving evolve to fit the modern world.
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The intersection of technology and Thanksgiving seems limited; over the years, new kitchen gadgets have made cooking staple dishes easier and HD television upped the quality of watching football, but the holiday’s traditions remain relatively unchanged-at least at face value.
That being said, even society’s most storied traditions evolve with the world around them. New technology-and the handful of mega tech companies responsible for delivering its consumer applications-has, in fact, had notable effects on how regular folks celebrate Thanksgiving.
For instance, our culture’s perspective on communication and spending time together has been permanently shifted by online voice and video chatting-thanks in large part to things like Microsoft’s MSFT Skype and Apple’s AAPL FaceTime. Even Facebook FB is trying to get in on the action with its new Portal video messaging cameras.
The idea of going home for the holidays and gathering as a large group of loved ones is still alive and well, but technology certainly has given people the ability to make those gatherings even larger by connecting with others who might not have otherwise been able to join.
Likewise, technology has changed the way those holiday gatherings entertain themselves. The Thanksgiving holiday in particular is all about watching TV-be it NFL football or the number of winter classics finally making their debuts for the season.
Just a few years ago, one still had to wait for their special program of choice to air for the year if they wanted a chance to catch it on TV. But waiting for that one day when a particular program is on is not really a thing anymore thanks to the likes of Netflix NFLX and Amazon AMZN . Heck, these companies are even doing their best to make their own cheesy holiday cult classics.
The influence of these major tech giants is also felt in one of Thanksgiving’s most consumer-minded traditions: holiday shopping. The term “Black Friday” has been used to describe the day after Thanksgiving-a bona fide shopping holiday in the U.S.-since the late 1980s. However, the advent of online shopping throughout this century has extended the shopping spree and created a new e-commerce themed day, “Cyber Monday.”
Make sure to check out today’s episode of Tech Talk Tuesday, as Ryan has a little fun with the Thanksgiving holiday and discusses his perspective on how technology has modernized our old-school traditions!
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