It can be a lonely time if you can't manage to get home for the holidays. However, thanks to the magic of technology, we can connect with our friends and families in faraway places on a virtual level via apps like Skype, Facetime, and WeChat, which allow us to make real-time video calls.
Technology and gifts for reviews site, GearHungry.com, surveyed 3,000 users to find out how we are planning to spend the holidays in 2019
The survey showed that over one in three (37%) of Americans are planning on having a virtual holiday season in 2019. Perhaps they are fed up with overpriced plane tickets home, or they can't face the holiday season traffic on the roads as they go cross country back home.
Of those who do travel to see their extended families this holiday season, the average time they are willing to spend getting to their destination is three hours.
So why are some of us choosing to stay at home for the holidays, instead of being with our extended family? Over a quarter of respondents (27%) said it was because their family lives too far away, which, considering the size of the US, seems a genuine consideration.
For almost one-in-five respondents (19%), the cost is a huge factor. They do not have the money to spend on air, bus, or train fares.
Almost one in five (18%) reported that they are just happy to have some time to themselves and enjoy their own company, while 12% say they can not get any time off work.
If the solitude gets too much for some, they can always knock next door. Over four in five (83%) of big-hearted Americans say they would invite a neighbor to spend Dec. 25 with them if they found out that they would be spending it alone.
An increasing trend, it seems, is to have a 'virtual' get-together with the family. This means that Americans do not go and visit your family, but link up with them over the holidays using video software, such as Skype or FaceTime, instead.
The survey revealed that a quarter of people say that the holiday season is the only time of year they speak with or see family members. In true holiday spirit, it brings people together.
One in five said that they see their family less in person because of video technology. This is not surprising, really, as video calls are excellent quality and can bring families together.
It takes hardly any time to connect with families and friends via the plethora of mobile devices. We should all try to communicate over video more often during the holiday season and share your holiday festivities virtually with all your connections.
And I hope you have a happy holiday -- wherever you are.