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Santa Claus for Digital Natives

The death of suburban malls at the hands of online shopping is well documented. It turns out Santa also has a cyber proxy rendering the old way of doing things obsolete.
December 25, 2014, 7am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Caitlin McCabe reports on the growing popularity of cyber Santa's: "many parents today [are] ditching some of the old-school Christmas traditions like letter writing or visits to the mall in favor of a more digitally proficient Mr. Claus." In fact, writes McCabe, "[with children glued to screens at ever-earlier ages—the average age of initial interaction is 11 months, according to one study—a raft of digital services have emerged to put Santa in the palm of their little hands."

Like many other of the consequences of web-enabled communications, a concern of the cyber Santa movement is the loss of the faraway quality that makes Santa special. "If you’re always communicating through your iPad, then talking to Santa [on your iPad] is not so magical," according to Markella Rutherford, associate professor of sociology at Wellesley College, as quoted in the story.

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Published on Monday, December 22, 2014 in The Wall Street Journal
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