Do Traditions Change?

Clare Donaher

It seems like most traditions take place around this time of year, with Thanksgiving and the winter holidays to celebrate. Each family has different rituals or ceremonies that they always do for the holidays. Some of these traditions have been passed down for decades. However, as generations go by, and our cultures continue to grow and change, our traditions are prone to change as well. Contrary to the opinions of many grandparents out there, I believe that our traditions are changing mostly for the better.

The tradition of a Thanksgiving feast is probably one of the most famous traditions in the United States. The whole family gathers around a table to dig into piles of turkey, mashed potatoes, and other miscellaneous foods. (Except for my brothers and me, of course, because we still sit at the kids’ table, and spend more time controlling our younger cousins than we do actually eating. But that’s a whole other article.) Usually, I am not very happy with the selection of food on thanksgiving. (I mainly just go for the desserts.) However, this year, my cousin brought one of my favorite foods –duck. Thanksgiving meals used to be all about passing down recipes, and eating the same type of turkey that people ate a hundred years ago– which doesn’t really leave any room for improvement. Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to hop on the Internet and pull up any recipe you want to try, such as duck.

Another aspect of technology that changes our traditions is the smartphone. No surprise there. The IPhone has even changed my traditions– and I don’t even have one. It changes the way we communicate with each other, and the way we remember things. Without group chats, I have no idea how my family would organize our annual thanksgiving football game. Since most of my family live in Philadelphia, we don’t exactly see each other on a regular basis. I used to live in a different state, so I spent most of my childhood not being able to remember my cousins’ names. Now I follow them on Instagram. Social media is such a great way to stay in touch with people, and although I do recognize its downsides, I will fight any scientist that writes another patronizing article with an ironic title, like “Social Media: Together but Alone.” If I had a dime for every one of those articles, I might actually be able to buy myself an iPhone.

In conclusion, it’s obvious that a lot of our traditions have changed over the years, and as our society continues to grow and develop, our traditions will start to change as well. Although some people from past generations may preach the evils of modern technology, I don’t see anything wrong with progressing and finding new things to add to my family’s heritage. Even the radnorite has gone digital! So the next time your grandmother rolls her eyes when you pull out your iPhone, tell her to hit up http://www.radnorite.com.