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Bring a little tech etiquette to your holiday festivities

On December 15, 2014

It is OK to send holiday wishes via text. You won’t be the only one doing so this season.
Credit: centrictv.com

(BPT) – Have you ever found yourself wondering if it was appropriate to check your work email during a holiday party? Do you feel guilty about entertaining your kids with technology during the busy holiday season?

In a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft, Americans shared their anxieties and concerns about holiday technology. Luckily for you, you’re not the only one sending your thank you notes via text and even better, most people think it’s completely acceptable.

Still wondering about holiday tech etiquette? Here are some tips to help guide you this season.

1. Don’t fret, you aren’t the only one checking your phone at the holiday table. If you find yourself sneaking a peek at your phone during the family holiday dinner, you’re not alone. Forty-one percent of Americans admit to checking their phone secretly under the holiday table, according to the survey. But phone checkers beware: while a majority of Americans feel it’s completely appropriate to check social media during holiday gatherings, only 34 percent approve of people looking at work email. If the dings of incoming emails are too enticing, use a digital personal assistant like Cortana to set quiet hours on your phone so incoming calls go straight to voicemail and all notifications are silenced.

2. Go ahead, take a holiday selfie. You’ll be in good company. According to the survey, 75 percent of American parents are likely to post to social media during a holiday gathering, so whether it’s a video of your aunt’s unique approach to mashing potatoes or pictures of the annual neighborhood Thanksgiving football game, share away.

3. Don’t stress about keeping the kids entertained. When traveling for the holidays, 72 percent of parents use technology to entertain their kids. And don’t feel guilty about letting them watch or play what they want. Only 7 percent of parents restrict kids to educational shows, movies and games compared to 40 percent who aren’t worried as much about the content, as long as it keeps kids busy in the car or on the plane.

4. Happy holidays, world. If you’re in the mood to spread holiday cheer to everyone on your contact list, pen and paper aren’t your only option. Although according to the survey, 43 percent of people still send cards via traditional mail, more than half of Americans are OK with sending mass holiday well wishes via text message. So it’s OK to forget the stamps and hit send instead to share the joy this year.

5. Use tech to make thank yous more personal. If you’re not into writing thank-you notes the old-fashioned way, consider sending a quick video message using Skype or Qik instead. That way the gift giver can see and hear how much you appreciate the gift. You can also share a story or two about everything the family has been doing this holiday season.

You have enough to think about during the holidays. Don’t let technology etiquette add extra stress. So, go ahead and post a holiday selfie. You won’t be the only one.

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