REDWOOD CITY, California (October 23, 2001) The holidays are a time to connect with family, with friends, with loved ones from all the corners of our lives. A recent online survey by Harris Interactive, on behalf of leading online photo service Shutterfly, says that this year people are more likely to emphasize the emotional over the material when it comes to their holiday activities.
Three-quarters (76%) of those responding to Shutterfly’s nationwide poll report that this year they will emphasize spending time with family and friends over other traditional holiday activities like vacationing (10%) and purchasing gifts (6%).
“In today’s mobile society, family and friends tend to be scattered across great distances, and despite our best intentions, few of us have the capacity to visit them all,” said Arthur Kornhaber, M.D., noted child and family psychiatrist. “In light of recent events, we are acutely aware of how dear family and friends are to us.”
“With the holidays approaching, it is more important than ever to reach out to those special people,” he said. “These days, technology allows us to maintain the continuity of our relationships in real time even miles away.”
“The telephone was were our first breakthrough,” said Dr. Kornhaber, “and now the Internet, email and digital photography are helping to bring us closer still.”
While nothing beats actually “being there,” one alternative favored by a majority of those surveyed is to share photographs with friends and family far away. Of the survey’s respondents, 78% agreed that sharing photographs is a good way to stay in touch over the holidays, and two out of five (42%) reported that they would be more likely to take pictures this year than last year. The survey also found that 59% of respondents plan to send holiday/photo cards, while nearly half (48%) intend to share photographs with loved ones.
Dr. Kornhaber advocates the use of the Internet and online services such as Shutterfly to keep loved ones looped in during the holidays, and to help people celebrate and communicate all year long.
“At a time when Americans are looking for ways to reach out, services like Shutterfly let us do so in ways that are both material and meaningful. Here is a great service to help us share holiday moments and day-to-day experiences with grandparents far away, or with friends who may have moved to a different state,” he said.
“We need emotional attachments. It’s a very basic truth about human nature,” said Dr. Kornhaber. “Distance can sometimes make relationships more difficult to maintain, but simple things like calling and sharing photos are easy and effective ways to fill in those emotional gaps.”
The study was conducted by Harris Interactive™ via its Quick Query™ online omnibus between October 4-8, 2001, interviewing 2,870 U.S. adults (18+). The margin of error is (+/-3) percentage points and the data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population.
Shutterfly is the leading online photo service that makes it simple, convenient and fun for people to take and share pictures. Shutterfly enables film and digital photographers to easily enhance, personalize, store and share pictures online or through high-quality prints. Shutterfly users can digitally enhance photo images, and can further transform their pictures with special effects and borders. Shutterfly offers its users features to create photo cards, invitations, calendars and Snapbooks™, all of which can be mailed to friends and family worldwide. Shutterfly is consistently recognized for its photo quality and features, and most recently was named “Best Online Photo Service” by PC Magazine, earning its coveted “Editor’s Choice” award for the second straight year. Shutterfly is based in Redwood City, CA.
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