Web 2.0 and Social Media
One day, I was aimlessly cruising around Facebook and noticed I had a friend request. Upon going to respond to it, I was shocked to see it was my father, whom I had no idea would a) ever get Facebook and b) would know how to get Facebook.
I was a bit surprised by my reaction to seeing this—in fact, my first instinct was to not accept him just because he was my dad. In the end I did accept him, and then I went and questioned him about his foray into online social media.
It turns out he had been convinced to become a part of Facebook because “everyone was doing it”—this actually meant other members of my extended family had told him to join. I thought it was kind of funny, as he’d ask me how to do things (i.e. write on someone’s wall) and what certain things were (i.e. notifications, news feed, etc.)—things that I figured out immediately and was able to do almost second-naturedly.
However, as much as he fumbled at the beginning, I was interested to note that my father had been able to set up this account, and with very little help begin experimenting with it. “This must be Web 2.0” I thought to myself.
Of course I use Web 2.0 every day. I frequent sites such as Twitter, Facebook, various news sites and more. It’s like a second nature to me and it doesn’t take me long to find out what I need to know and move on to my next site. Sure this probably has to do with me growing up learning this stuff, but I also think the interfaces play a large role.
Everything is so easy to do now. A perfect example is this WordPress blog. I had never used it prior to this course, but it literally took me five minutes to set one up. Other sites make it this easy as well, with huge sign up buttons that then walk you step by step through the signup process. No wonder people like my dad can get on board.
And social media isn’t the only convenient thing about Web 2.0. I have two good examples of sites that make my life much easier.
The first is one for my job. I work as an event staff for the university. As a student who goes to two schools I’m running around a lot, and since Western isn’t my main school, it’d be troublesome for me to have to go in to collect pay, pick up shifts, etc. However, all the logistics of my job occur online. In one location I can pick up/give away shifts, set my availability, receive emails from my boss, see my schedule, and get paid. Yes, the pay goes directly to my bank account.
And that’s the other one. Banking online. Oh boy, if I had a nickel for every time online banking had saved me, my online bank account would be a little bit bigger. The one site allows me to sign in and see all my funds, and transfer money between accounts, pay off credit card bills, etc. And it’s all so simple I can do it on my smartphone while I stand in line at the grocery store sweating that I won’t have enough funds on the old debit card to get this week’s sustenance.
In fact, Web 2.0 and social media are so easy, that I just received a friend request on Facebook from my 10 year old cousin.