Use your gadget to make a difference for those alone this Christmas

Commentary: If there's one day when a gadget can truly make a difference to people, it's this one.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Cropped Image Of Person Using Phone At Night

Just one message, one thought, can make all the difference.

Alexey Dulin / EyeEm

For some people, Christmas is neither happy nor merry.

It's lonely.

Oh, they might not want to admit it. They might say they're going to be just fine.

But as you celebrate being with those you love, please spare a thought for those who, perhaps through painful or unfortunate circumstance, are on their own.

Perhaps a family feud has caused them to distance themselves.

Perhaps a death, a job, an illness or a move has caused them to be faced with only four walls and their own thoughts and memories.

If there's one day on which gadgets can make the world a better place, it's this one.

Do you know someone who's on their own and insists they'll be OK? Please use one of the myriad of phones, tablets, computers or gaming devices to contact them anyway. 

Please offer a simple thought. Or, if you can, an invitation. 

Just letting them know that you're thinking of them can have far more value than you'll ever conceive. 

They might be family members, co-workers, someone you met at a party or someone you haven't seen for years. They might -- though they may not admit it -- be hoping that someone, somewhere will at least ask them how they are.

It's not about feeling sorry for them. It's about appreciating that all of us, at any moment, could suddenly be alone and encounter circumstances we never expected.

Life's not always forgiving. Things occur beyond our control and suddenly we look around and say: "How did this happen?"

Some people on Christmas Day are using social media to at least extend a hand and an ear.

British comedian Sarah Millican, for example, created the hashtag #joinin, which people can use to listen and talk.  

There, people are already sharing how they ended up alone.

One text, one email, one Twitter DM, gosh, even an animoji could make an enormous difference in someone's day.

So please, don't wait until you're full and can't move or think.

Don't worry that you fear the person doesn't want to hear from you or anyone else. Try extending a hand.

They just might appreciate it more than you could ever conceive.