Are Your Family Getting Social This Christmas?

December 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

It’s happened to many of us. Logged onto Facebook to find a friend request, not from a nice boy, nor cool new friend from work but from one of our parents. Mums, Dads, Aunties and Uncles and even Nans are getting on the social media bandwagon and it’s becoming more and more common to log onto Facebook and find a friend request from an older family member. Most of us cringe when we get our first photo comment from a relative or see that they’ve uploaded some hideously old family photo and tagged several more. But despite our teenage embarrassment is this a good thing or not?

When asked ‘Why do you use Facebook?’ most of us will answer ‘To keep in touch with friends and find out what’s going on’. Well, maybe our parents and our other senior family members are doing exactly the same thing. And it’s not just Facebook they’re jumping on, I’ve had numerous conversations with my brother, sister and parents on Skype and regularly chat on MSN Messenger.

As usual, there will be lots of catching up and arranging things with friends over Facebook for me this Christmas, so will my parents and family be doing the same thing? Will we be scrapping the tradition of phoning my Grandparents on Christmas day and send them a quick Facebook message instead? Or perhaps we’ll just email my Aunties to let them know we liked our presents.

An article on twittown states “In August of 2009, Nielson Polls reported that Internet users admitted that they were now spending about 17 percent of their surfing time on social networks. This time is up triple the amount from the 2008 poll“. It’s so true, we do spend a ridiculous amount of time surfing the web and playing on various social networking sites and yes, it is great that our families can stay linked on the web and stay in touch so easily, but is this social media boom ruining the good old one to one conversation?

We can’t get away from the fact that it is. Traditionally, the scene of a living room of an evening would see chatting, cups of tea and a television set playing the daily soaps and family programs. However, I have often found now my housemates and I will sit in the living room glued to our laptop screens, chatting over who wrote what on Twitter or some controversial photos uploaded to Facebook. Similarly, when at home my family and I will often have some kind of laptop, phone or games console in our hands while we probably should be chatting about how our day treated us and what everyone’s plans for the weekend are.

I don’t think we’ll be able to get away from the growing world of social networking, and I don’t want to, it’s great and a key ingredient in the new media world I want to get involved in. But this Christmas Day and festive season, I’m going to try to talk more and perhaps phone a friend instead of Facebook chatting them. Will be a bit more effort, but it’ll probably be a better conversation.

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Appmania

November 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

After an interesting Web Communication seminar and the purchase of my new iPhone 4 I have become slightly obsessed with downloading mobile apps, and keep managing to find more and more on literally everything from BBC News to Twitter to WordPress to Games to Topshop and my personal favourite, the Philadelphia cheese recipes app. But how have these applications at the touch of a button become so popular?

I am a huge fan of the app, intact I’m using my WordPress app to write this now! Apps such as Facebook  have enabled me to keep up to date with social networking constantly and having news apps such as BBC and Sky News means can read the headlines and choose a story to read in seconds. I just wonder how many more can actually be created, and soon will everything we tap into be condensed into an icon on our screens?

Google apps such as Google Desktop , a desktop search application used to search for files local to your computer, became popular purely because they made life easier for the user. But, for me, apps have were made what they are today when my friend bought an iPod touch.

Apple claim that their App Store is the ultimate source for mobile apps, with a huge 300,000 apps in practically every category and that’s with more being developed all the time! Browsing through the App Store, it is truly amazing just how many apps exist. The categories range from Entertainment, Lifestyle, Finance, Sports, Travel and loads more. The Apps can be very entertaining and although I’m not a gaming girl, iCopter and TapTap revenge are extremely addictive. Most importantly, apps  enable the user to receive information such as breaking news, recipes, cinema times and programs such as Spotify to their finger tips from the familiar icon the touch screen. Click on the links to see just how many there are, and get downloading if you have a iPhone or iPod touch, loads are free!

Apple aren’t the only one’s with the App bug, other smart phones such as Blackberry enable very similar Apps to be downloaded.

So, it would seem  Apple and other corporations are constantly updating and modifying their apps to make them even better, and through the growing popularity of Apple technology and the iPhone, I believe more and more apps will be developed because right now, they do make life a lot easier and my mobile phone a lot more useful. I love apps.

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