Digital Gifts

Dave asked this week if giving digital gifts (digital books, apps for smartphones, etc) ruins the experience for the receiver.

The early consensus was that the digital gifts are way better. Especially the gift card – which was a bit off base.

Then Dan and I leapt in with the alternate viewpoint. Dano summed up my views of gift cards quite well. A gift is not about the stuff, but about the thought and care of the giver. For the receiver the gift may be something you need, something you want or something else that shows you are being thought of.

But a digital gift can be specific and thoughtful and chosen with love. By the previous argument, a digital gift should be just as good as a physical one.

But for me it isn’t. As a child my best gifts were ones that inspired family activities once opened. Assembling the gift. Or finding a game or puzzle. Some thing to manipulate and share and show. Lego, Hot Wheels tracks, board games. Even getting a computer was a family affair of assembly and booting and playing around.

Maybe it is just selfishness. The desire to have a thing. My favourite gift ever was an action figure of R2-D2. Certainly that doesn’t fit my criteria above. (But he was so cool!)

I dunno. But it seems different regardless. I know what I prefer, but I can’t say with certainty which is better.

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