Is cybershopping a threat to family togetherness?
(Posted on December 08, 2011)
It's like a scene out of the timeless classic "A Christmas Story": The whole family bundles up and heads to the downtown department store, where Mom and Dad hunt down holiday goodies and eager little tykes get in line to whisper all their wishes to Santa.
And it's a thing of the past. With the rise of internet shopping - Americans spent more than $1 billion online this year on 'Cyber Monday' alone - such heartwarming family scenes just aren't happening anymore. Is the end of the family shopping trip having an effect on family bonding and togetherness?
It depends how you look at it.
"I think it has to be considered in context," said Dr. Paula Gill Lopez, associate professor and director of the School Psychology program at Fairfield University. "The important thing is to create and/or maintain new traditions, e.g. quality time finding and decorating the tree and house, keeping an advent calendar, or volunteering as a family at a rescue mission or food pantry."
In fact, the ease of cybershopping may smooth some holiday stress. "Cybershopping may provide more time to celebrate as a family, not less," said Dr. Gill Lopez. "However like everything, it should be done sensibly in moderation."
If you would like to talk to Dr. Gill Lopez about how old traditions give way to new ones, please contact Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vol. 44, No. 140