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Happy TechGiving!

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on November 25, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the Internet.

With modern air travel, it is possible to visit family members and dear friends who live in other parts of the country for Thanksgiving. Indeed, Thanksgiving week is the busiest time of year for airlines and airports.

It is not uncommon for people to think twice about Thanksgiving travel, given the crowds and commotion. And now, much of the country is socked in with blizzards, massive snows, and temperatures well below freezing. These conditions make travel even more daunting, if not impossible in some circumstances.

But, yes, there is a silver lining. Of course, nothing can truly substitute in-person reunions of family and friends during the holidays. Yet, when such gatherings just cannot happen, in comes tech.

It was not that long ago that the only real way to communicate with someone real-time at a distance was via a land-line telephone. Before that, there was the electrical telegraph, beacons, yodeling, and smoke signals.

Now, there are innumerable tech ways to be present with our loved ones:

  • We can move around while talking on our wireless mobile phones;
  • We can send emails back and forth;
  • We can communicate rapid-fire with text messages;
  • We can talk and see each other via Skype and FaceTime;
  • We can send instant messages while on Gmail and Facebook;
  • We can post photos and videos on Instagram and Facebook; and
  • We can send disappearing images to and fro on Snapchat.

The list goes on and on. Indeed, with all of these technological communications options, even if we are not physically present with those people we care about during the holidays, we may find that we still get plenty of them.

The only thing we are missing is the hug. Perhaps the next big thing will be the virtual hug. I will download the App when it becomes available.

Eric Sinrod (@EricSinrod on Twitter) is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP, where he focuses on litigation matters of various types, including information technology and intellectual property disputes. You can read his professional biography here. To receive a weekly email link to Mr. Sinrod's columns, please email him at with Subscribe in the Subject line. This column is prepared and published for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author's law firm or its individual partners.

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