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GIFT SHOPPING: An Impersonal "Personal Gift"

Are we living in a world where handmade objects will cease to exist? When was the last time you received a custom-made gift, made by the gift giver?

Are we living in a world where handmade objects will cease to exist? 

When was the last time you received a custom-made gift, made by the gift giver? 

Have you ever received a handmade card, a lovingly crafted blanket, a hand-knit sweater, a handmade quilt, a carefully crafted photo album, a handwritten poem, or a home-baked pie?

For that matter, when is the last time you gave someone a gift like that?  You probably cannot remember the last time.

Is it more common to receive a computer-generated birthday wish in an email nowadays?  Or to NOT receive a hand-written thank you note at all, for a gift you sent with a point and click of your computer mouse?

Are we now on "automatic" in this computer-age world?

Our thoughts immediately go to clicking as fast as we can on our favorite website, to search for that "personal" gift, and if we are lucky, it takes us all of 2 minutes to "click and send" that "personal" gift to Mom, Dad or another close relative or friend.

Has this simply become a chore, to put THOUGHT into the purchase, and in the process never having to think about the person you are sending the gift to, for more than that 2 minutes? 

Is this what is called our "advancing society" technology-wise?  What a sad state of affairs.

I love how the schools are still teaching our children to do things by hand, such as art projects, science fair boards, etc. in order to open their minds to all possibilities of creativity.
 
However, it's as if it is a race against the technology the students hold in their OTHER hand, literally, those electronic gadgets, all fighting to rule supreme. 

I wonder how many of the students will see the value in a hand-crafted item when they get older and have their own children one day, vs. a gift you can point and click to obtain.

Have we passed the last generation that cares? 

We already see that young people hardly talk to one another these days, in real time. It's all cell phone, texting, tweeting, emails and Facebook, to name a few.  How would they even know what "handmade" means? 

Hardly anyone follows this thoughtful method anymore. Everyone is "too busy" to make things, or even put a lot of time into purchasing gifts either.  Whether shopping in real-time stores or doing online shopping, no one thinks of the person they are purchasing the item for, for more than a few minutes, it seems. 

Everything is quick quick quick.  I'm not so sure this is progress.  When did we start to lose it all? 

To make matters worse, today you can "point and click" on the internet to get someone to OBTAIN the "personal" gift FOR you!
 
Websites such as "your-shopper.com" for instance, claim, "We realize that time is precious and that sometimes, there is no time to dedicate to finding that special gift for that special someone." 

OK let me understand this, we have no TIME to "dedicate," meaning no time to think about not only the gift we are NOT choosing, but also no time to think about the the person to whom we are giving the gift ?  Wow that's really "personal."  

They also ship the item too, so this "personal gift" never has to touch your hands.  You also pay an additional fee to NOT have to think about or choose a "personal" gift yourself. 

You don't have to think about "personal" items you want to purchase for YOURSELF either.

You can pay for a service to "personalize" YOURSELF, or your image too.  A website called "vipluxuryservice.com" says, "We cater to the client who perhaps needs assistance with creating a fashion image or doesn't have the time nor the inclination to shop."  They also offer same services for real estate, interior designers, luxury travel, luxury fashion and jewelry, financial investment, and more. 

So just imagine, you can sit there all day long not having to think about purchasing anything, it is done for you.  Call me wrong, but I thought once you obtained a high earning potential, part of the fun of that was spending the earnings yourself.  Now we can sit by and watch other people spend our money and choose items for us.  

You can also program FUTURE buying and cross that off your to-do list!
 
Most people are already familiar with fruit or flower of the month gifts in these  "gift of the month" clubs, but there are many other items you can "thoughtlessly schedule" to be sent as "personal" gifts. 

A website called "amazing clubs.com" says these clubs sell "The perfect gift when you want to say you care not just once, but month after month."  So you CARE by not having to think about the gift at ALL for a year etc.?  

These clubs cover numerous selections of gifts you can have sent all year long, with one click of the computer mouse.  These can be gifts from clubs such as a beer or wine club, cheese or chocolate club, dog treat club, cigar club, bacon club or hot sauce club, to name a few. 

Clubs can be for children's gift giving too, such as the "PB & J Club" or the "Teddy Bear Club" where they send "gourmet peanut butters & jellies from small, boutique peanut butter and jelly makers around the world" or where they will "deliver an adorable, soft and cuddly teddy bear all dressed up in a seasonal theme" each month. 

Are we getting carried away here?  Having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made by Mom or Dad or receiving our ONE cherished teddy bear as a child, are fond memories. or used to be!

Have we stooped so low as to automate this wonderful memory too? 

So where does this all end?

Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate the value of the internet as a research and communication tool.

I also appreciate devices that allow us to listen to music anywhere (as long as we are not ignoring others' presence in the process), or the convenience of a cell phone, especially valuable in emergencies. 

However, I truly believe no one is really monitoring what is happening to our society regarding all this technology.  Electronics companies are just intent on making money selling these devices period, without regard as to how it is changing the map of human communication in a negative way.

Yes it has positive communication aspects, but everything has a downside. 

I think everyone is ignoring this downside simply because they have been brainwashed to think "THIS is the way of the future" with present technology, and if you do not comply you will be left in the dust.

I will take dust thank you. 

I use technology, but try and balance it with what is human too.

I take time to get out in nature, spend time talking to my daughter in quiet time, have a great cup of  tea, read a hardcover book or newspaper every so often, and other times I am online or kindle reading, or online doing my photo editing and posting, or writing/posting stories too.  It's all a balance.  I try and NOT do anything at the expense of human interaction. Many interviews I could conduct on the telephone, but I prefer to do in person.  You get the idea. 

I certainly do NOT do anything because someone else is doing it!

Steve Jobs, one of the fathers of personal computing, and the founder of Apple, said,  "A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them," as quoted in BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998. 

Why must we let others decide what "we" want?  I appreciate all choices, inventions, ideologies, beliefs, being put before me, but I want to decide the path of my own life, and which "tools" I use to get there 

If we are not careful, we are in danger of other people forming our lives.

Yes the present technology has its positive effects, but I see many negatives too, mainly in the personal communications aspect of it all. This is then carrying over into how the next generation interacts with one another in many areas.

It used to be that a hand shake was a man's word during business dealings.  Now you can do business across the world and never make personal contact face-to-face at all.  Is this a good thing? 

Soon they will have robots appearing on Skype programed by humans, and no one will have to make contact at all in a personal or even electronic way.  That's a scary thought.      
 
So what does make a gift personal? 

I think you will know, when the memory remains, long after the gift has faded.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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