For those who are alone this Christmas, gadgets are all they have

Please spare a thought for those who are on their own in festive times. A gadget may be the one means by which you can help them.

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Please do it.

ZDNet

Christmas is all about being together.

At least, that's what the ads keep telling us.

It isn't the case for everyone.

As you might be unwrapping your latest iPad, Android phone, or perfectly absurd VR mask, there will be people who are all alone.

For some, it might be by choice. They simply don't like their families, perhaps, or they no longer have one. Or, perhaps, they are constrained by a work schedule that can't be changed. 

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Their shift is Christmas Day, so their whole lives must shift with that.

Others, though, suddenly find themselves alone on Christmas and don't really know how it happened.

A decision went south, relationship went wrong, a life went sideways, and there they are, staring at the TV, watching through their pain while others are enjoying themselves.

Many may be too shy to ask for company. They don't want to impose on someone else's happiness or family life.

They tell themselves they can get through Christmas and soon it'll be gone and forgotten.

If ever there was a day and a reason to use your gadgets to make such people feel better, it's Christmas Day.

It's very likely you know at least one person who will be alone. They might have told you they'll be fine. They might have even said they're looking forward to it.

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Then there are those who will spend the day punctured by sadness, desperate to hear from someone, anyone.

Whether people tell you they're fine or not, call them, email, text, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or whatever other form of communication is your preference.

I don't believe anyone who's alone will be angry if someone contacts them on Christmas Day, just to say, "Hullo, I'm thinking of you."

Loneliness is now regarded by many as an epidemic. A recent study showed that almost half of Americans feel isolated.

In the UK, there's evidence that loneliness will soon be the nation's biggest killer.

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Worse, as gadgets have become ubiquitous, they've encouraged us to sink inside them and use them to isolate ourselves further, at least as much as we ever use them to communicate with others.

So, today, please think about those who are alone and would like to hear from you.

Pick up that gadget and make contact. It might be the best gift you give someone all year.

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