Holiday Gift Buying Guide For Tech-Savvy Loved Ones

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Teddy bear or robot companion?

Photo by Unknown // CC0 1.0

The holidays are coming, and that means time for celebration with the loved ones. Buying gifts is a part of the fun, but it can be difficult to shop for younger generations who are more focused on new technology. If you’re not a tech-savvy person, then the world of technology may seem fast, furious and expensive. And indeed it is.

This guide will help you to understand how to buy gifts for your most-techy relatives. If you don’t know the difference between a Tweet and a Twoo then this article is a good place to start.

Ask For Advice

Buying for tech-savvy relatives is a lot like buying for anybody else. Younger relatives are likely to have a Holiday Wishlist, with details of what they would like you to buy. This makes life easier, as long as the gift ideas are reasonable in both price and function.

Aside from asking relatives directly, you could also spend the coming weeks talking to them more about technology. Tech world moves fast, so now is the right time to talk about new releases for the holidays.

Ask them all about what the enjoy, what is hot on the shelves right now, and try to show interest so that they start dropping hints. Doing this can expand your understanding of technology and how it impacts your loved one’s lives.

Chipping Together?

The PS4 Pro will cost you around $400 brand new.

Photo by Solomon203 // CC BY-SA 4.0

The truth is, the latest technology tends to be very expensive. Buying a new gaming console is very different from buying someone a new doll. The most recent PlayStation 4 costs around $400. The latest iPhone costs a rather ridiculous $1,000. You might not have that much money to spend, or justifiably not want to spend it, especially on a younger person. Spoiling people with material gifts is not what the Holidays are about!

One way around this is to chip together with other close relatives for major tech presents. Explain to your loved one that they have a choice – either lots of small presents, or one big present between everyone.

Alternatively, you could buy smaller tech products for your loved ones that are related to the bigger “toys”. For example, if your relative already has a PS4, you could buy them a new game or pad. If they want a new smartphone, you could give them a $50 Apple voucher as a contribution, to be used when the prices drop dramatically straight after the New Year.

Technology and Hobbies

Technology is not all bad. With $1, computerized phones in our pockets, it can seem like the end of times, but technology often goes hand in hand with hobbies. In this context, it can be very beneficial for personal growth and enjoyment.

If your loved one loves to go fishing, you could ask them about the latest rods, alarms and reels. Aspiring poker players may appreciate new computer monitors or headphones. Long distance hikers may want a new GPS system for staying safe on mountains.

You don’t have to buy generic technology gifts. You can encourage interests in your loved ones, rather than bring about the zombie apocalypse. 

Holiday Pressures

Buying gifts can come with a feeling of pressure, especially when buying for younger loved ones who live in a world that we sometimes find difficult to understand. Buying gifts is about the thought and appreciation for the person receiving it, not about providing the latest and greatest technology at the cost of a second mortgage.

When it comes to young people, some technology can even be detrimental to growth. Research has shown that too much screen time has this effect, and may even stunt expressive speech and social abilities. I buy my younger relatives books and traditional toys, and they appreciate them just as much. I want to encourage them to live life outside of the screen, not just in it.

It’s all about balance. Not all technology is bad, and when it is combined with activities and interests it is both useful and enjoyable. Whatever you do, don’t worry too much about this tech-driven world. Give the gift of love (and good food!), and these will be remembered for much longer than the latest smartphone, which has a lifespan of about three months. 

Enjoy your holidays!