Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Skype, web conferences, video meetings… we’ve become a collaborative, global culture. Everything is out in the open for the world to see, and as the world progresses toward this new frontier, technology continues to push the envelope of how we interact.
Social media started on computers and moved to smartphones, then to tablets and televisions, gaming systems and now we can even find social media in our cars. It’s everywhere we are, whether we’re sitting on the couch far from our computer or smartphone, or driving to the dentist.
Here we’ll take a look at the best social-media-friendly technology out there that’s not your smartphone or tablet.
People have gotten together to watch TV since TV was first introduced to a mass market. As television became the business that it is today, the social aspect of watching became larger, as well.
With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, television took on a new life, as conversations about the shows were happening in real time. Some televisions now incorporate these social networks directly into the television itself. Vizio brings us widgets for Facebook and Twitter that are accessible directly from the TV screen. LG, Samsung, Sharp and others have also joined the game, allowing users to access their Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes, Skype and other platforms, as well, directly from their television screen.
My family ditched cable a few months back in favor of a Sony smart Blu-ray player. The Blu-ray player gives them the option to download all sorts of different apps, including Netflix and Hulu Plus. These Blu-ray players also allow access to Facebook and Twitter (in most cases), as well as a whole network of different apps for everyone to enjoy.
Panasonic and LG also feature Blu-ray players with social network capabilities.
Move over Super Nintendo. Gaming systems aren’t just for gaming anymore. Just last night, I Tweeted from my couch using my Xbox 360. In essence, gaming platforms became the first social networks (of sorts) long before Facebook and Twitter came onto the scene. Playing these games online with friends and people across the world made it easy to interact with people outside of the usual face-to-face interactions.
Granted, social networking has stepped into a more reality-based platform, the principle is still the same: interact with people over the computer or device in a virtual setting. Xbox 360 has taken this concept to heart and actually turned into a social networking platform. While PS3 hasn’t fully joined the social media party, they do offer a fully functional, built-in web browser so users can surf the web and check their social sites.
Laptops (Or Desktops…)
For social networking sites, this is where it all started. The laptop or desktop platform is still probably the best option to get access to all of your social networking sites (sites outside Facebook and Twitter). Though, smart phones and tablets are quickly making up ground in this category. Many sites, such as Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ haven’t fully taken on in the mobile world yet (though, if they continue to grow at the rate they are, they certainly will), so accessing these sites from a personal computer is still the best way to get connected on these sites.
While most computers now are completely social-media ready, your choice of browser could have an effect on your social media experience. Flock, brought to us by Zynga, was supposed to be the first completely social browser, but it never really caught on. I’d recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox for your best social media experience. The best part of Google Chrome is the ability to search Google directly from your address bar.
Cars – Mercedes Benz
Yes, social media has even found its way into our cars. While not many cars make use of this technology – and not many people want this kind of technology when they’re behind the wheel – it’s still there for those Facebook-crazy drivers. Mercedes Benz introduced a voice-operated system called mbrace2, which allows drivers to safely post to their Facebook wall while traveling.
Genevieve Coates is a staff writer for AndGeeks.com, which followed closely as T-Mobile unveiled the new Samsung Galaxy S III. She lives in Tampa, Florida.