The Connected Nation Blog: The Thanks that Broadband is Giving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Thanks that Broadband is Giving

By Jeremy Thacker, Communications Specialist, Connected Nation

Feeling some stress from holiday turkeys, tasks, and travel?

Look no further than your Internet-connected desktop, laptop, or smart phone.

According to National Geographic, our pilgrim-inspired feast of thanks took root in American culture in the 1800s and it’s clear that we’ve come a long way since then.

Broadband is impacting American life at a rapid pace and it’s shedding a whole new light on long-standing traditions in the process.

These days, the endless amounts of information available online is truly amazing. A few key words into your favorite online search engine like Bing, Google, or Yahoo and you can answer just about any question you can think to ask.

Don’t know what size turkey to buy? Just tell Butterball or Jennie-O how many people you need to feed. They’ll even give thawing and cooking instructions.

Need some last-minute recipes? Websites like Martha Stewart and The Food Network are standing by with ideas that range from traditional trimmings to organic gourmet.

Earth 911 is one of the sites offering a step-by-step guide to keeping your celebration as “green” as possible.

And don’t worry if you accidently set off that sensitive smoke alarm! A quick visit to a site like eHow can help you hush the noise and reset your kitchen serenity in seconds.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates more than 42 million Americans will drive more than 50 miles for the holiday weekend and getting lost is now largely a thing of the past with on-demand maps and turn-by-turn directions available from a host of sites like Rand McNally, Google, and Yahoo maps.

Need to know about airport delays or track exactly what time Aunt Susie’s flight will be landing? The FAA and services like Flight Stats and FlyteComm have you covered, with real-time maps and flight landing times down to the minute.

For those loved ones who cannot come join the table in-person, there’s nothing like a face-to-face video chat to ease the absence. Free services like Skype give you the next-best-thing to being there.

Once you get everyone together, why not a little holiday dinner table trivia? The History Channel and National Geographic websites are great places to start. You’ll find fun facts about the 46-million turkeys eaten across the country on Thanksgiving and Minnesota being the top turkey-producing state.

And, after all the turkey has been slept off, broadband can help you hit your Christmas shopping with a vengeance! Look up holiday hours and Black Friday sale details to all of your favorite stores, or take it easy, stay in you PJs, and cash in on the deals most online retailers are now offering as part of Cyber Monday.

So much online and so little time! Happy Thanksgiving!