What's the best way to wish someone a happy birthday? Or recognize them for hard work? Celebrate an anniversary? Birthday celebrations usually mean buying cards, e-cards, gift cards, and occasionally, a Ferrari. The people's choice though, is a video.
According to Google, there was an 80% increase in global searches for "online gifts" from 2019 to 2020.
During the lockdown, most of us started to shift our focus from buying stuff to creating experiences and memories.
Attempts to make up for lost celebrations led to searches like "how to celebrate birthday meaningfully" and "anniversary video maker" grew by up to 200%.
Celebrations are no longer just a chance to buy gifts. They're an opportunity to connect and strengthen relationships. Here are four ways to use technology to improve your relationships.
Recognize the great boss or mentor you have at work.
Giving feedback and showing appreciation at work can be tricky, even more so if you started a new job mid-pandemic. How do you recognize an individual you've never met in real life and strengthen the relationship?
Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations at Force by Mojio, was overwhelmed when her work team surprised her with a National Boss's Day video.
"Each of my reports filmed a 30-second video in which they told me why they appreciated me as a boss. Our video guy edited them together into a short film," she said.
"To say I was completely floored is an understatement! I'm lucky to have a team that made the extra effort to show their appreciation while we were all remote."
Don't want to declare your love in a large crowd? Try a video proposal.
Flash mob, anyone? Nothing says "marry me" like a big gesture. But if you're not keen on a big crowd (or you're proposing mid-pandemic), a surprise video proposal may do the job. Strengthen the relationship — heck put a ring on the relationship!
The pandemic has kept many couples apart, so a video proposal is the next best thing for those proposal plans that have gone off the rails. Sara Cemin received a care package from her boyfriend, which had a little wooden box apart from flowers and chocolates.
"When I opened it, I found a flash drive which my boyfriend asked me to play," Sara described.
"It was a 5-minute video of all our favorite memories. I was already in tears when the video ended with a cute video gift stating — "Will you marry me?" How could I say no to this proposal?"
For delivery and edit-free video proposal, VidDay works a charm. VidDay employee Alain Bayer is one of many that used the platform to propose — although in this case, he added an extra element of surprise.
"I essentially added a little video at the end of my now wife's birthday video asking if she'd marry me!" Alain related.
Use a video gift to strengthen relationships and impress the 'impossible gift' person.
Receiving a gift isn't the same as hearing someone's voice or seeing their voice. Video gifts have helped fill in the gap — even before the pandemic.
Are you traveling long-term? Try a video gift. Away for work? Video gift.
Sam Shepler, CEO of TestimonialHero, received a video compilation of friends and family for his birthday, put together by his wife.
"My family knows I'm not a materialistic guy, so the only gift I always ask for is some quality time with my loved ones. However, the pandemic made that an impossible scenario," he commented.
"Just thinking about everyone taking a moment from their days during these difficult times to say kind words about me made me feel so valued and appreciated, and I'll never be thankful enough for that."
Some feel warmed by the kind words they hear, some cry tears of joy — and some get down on one knee and propose being together forever.
Ashley Pellegrini organized a video gift using VidDay for her boyfriend, now fiance's 50th birthday. She knew that with lockdowns coming into place again, a party was out of the question.
"I pulled up the VidDay and mirrored it onto the television. He was in the middle of a text and dropped his phone when he saw the first video!" Ashley recalls. "He was in tears and thanked me for such a sweet surprise. He left the room, came back with the ring hidden behind his back, and asked me to marry him!"
Get creative. Sing a song. Write a poem. And then, share it online!
If blunt words aren't your thing, channeling your feelings into a piece of art — whether that be a song, poem, or literal art — might be a great alternative, especially if it's a group effort.
University student and travel blogger John found this to be true. John banded together with several classmates to wish a retiring professor farewell to write a poem and present it through Zoom.
"We would turn on our cameras one at a time and read a line from the poem." John described.
"Then at the end, we each held up a piece of paper that spelled out "Thank you, Professor Dell." On the last day of class, we showed him that video, and he cried!"
"It was one of the most heartwarming moments I have been a part of."
While expressing feelings and appreciation through art is a great way to build and strengthen relationships, it may not be easy for everyone. Thankfully, websites like Singstagram take the pressure off.
Adam James, the Founder of Singstagram, creates and sings personalized and custom songs to help people celebrate occasions. Adam can create a custom song for your loved ones or re-write an existing song about them!
Despite technology disrupting how we communicate and connect, it's clearly had a positive impact.
Have you used technology to connect with loved ones or strengthen a relationship?
We'd love to hear your story.