Technology and Home For The Holidays

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree
Christmas Eve’ll find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

When Bing Crosby first crooned the now famous words in 1943, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams,” it still took more than 3 days to cross the Atlantic Ocean. And communication was pretty arduous as well. While the telephone had been around for quite some time and was becoming more widely used in the 1940s, the world was in the midst of WWII and The War Board placed a limit on the number of telephone installations in the US in 1942. On average, it took a letter between a few weeks and a month to float its way to the other side of the world depending on weather. So, Ol’ Bing probably wasn’t the only one dreaming of home at the holidays.

Fast forward only a few years to the late 1950s and the first transatlantic jet flight had cut that travel down from over 3 days to 8 hours (assuming you start on the East Coast), but this was still not a common or affordable way to travel. It wasn’t until the 1970s and the deregulation of the airlines that fares became affordable enough to make air travel a common way for middle class Americans to get around.

So…all that to say, it’s been historically pretty difficult to get home for the holidays – or any other day for that matter.

While travel technology cut the time it took to get halfway around the world to mere hours in the last few decades, communication technology has held its own. Even as recently as the early 2000s, video calls were the stuff of fantasy, appearing in movies and TV shows but certainly not in our own living rooms. 

Today, whatever technology we use for video calls at work (Bluejeans, Cisco, Dolby, LifeSize, Microsoft, Pexip, Poly, or Zoom), at home video calls have become as easy as pressing an icon our ever-present mobile devices. In fact, Apple handles between 15 and 20 million FaceTime calls a day. 

So whether you are braving the roads, rails, or air to get home this holiday season, or whether you are cutting through the miles (and across time zones) with video technology, we wish you and yours the best of the season.

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