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Now that November has arrived, the holiday season is officially upon us, and with it, more opportunities to enjoy face-to-face fellowship with friends and extended family.

As I recall a few decades worth of family gatherings, I notice our conversational range has been fairly predictable. We cover any unusual experiences we’ve had since our last meeting; we share news from common acquaintances; a sub-group debates recent political happenings while another rates their favorite team’s sports performances; we share plans for upcoming family events; and, there’s a bit of reconnaissance to help us strategize our gift-giving. The best stories from times past are re-told, sometimes with embellishment.

If your family is like mine, you’re more able than ever before to stay up to date with each other through social media. You’ve probably already heard about career developments, viewed ultrasound pictures, celebrated college acceptance and shared comical moments.

I haven’t determined whether this fundamental change in communication gives my family more conversational fodder or diminishes the opportunity for connection when catching up in person. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s changing.


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