Earlier today, I asked you why you use iOS. I asked that question for a couple of different reasons, but mostly because I think it’s interesting to know why some people choose one operating system over another, especially because a platform can quickly become an incredibly important part of our lives. And with each platform comes unique features, but there’s one aspect to all of them that can be reached in several different ways. Whether it’s based on features embedded within the mobile OS out of the box, or through applications downloaded to the device, being socially connected is something that has become standard, and now we’re all about the sharing.
Actually, it’s pretty revealing how important the overall social network has become based entirely on the way that different services have become integrated into the mobile operating systems that we enjoy so much. We’ve watched as companies have strived to integrate Facebook right into the core of the experience, or as much as they can. And now Twitter is taking a front seat to the party.
iOS, Android, and Windows Phone all take a strong focus on social networking. Sharing has never been easier, and I can only imagine that, somehow, these companies will figure out a way to make it even faster, more streamlined. What used to be word-of-mouth has now become “like” or “retweet,” and the integration just keeps getting deeper and deeper.
Not too long ago, I was playing a game with a friend on Xbox LIVE. He decided to go look at his list of Achievements for a game, and he noticed that there was an option to share right there at the bottom of the screen. When he pushed the corresponding button to share an Achievement, it brought up a quick-share option so that he could splash his Facebook page with a certain Achievement. Brag about it to all his friends. This isn’t something you can do through Windows Phone at the moment, but it would certainly be pretty cool to have that option right there from the phone with Achievements earned in games for Windows Phone.
But looking directly at the mobile side of things, applications like Spotify almost force you to have a Facebook account to even make use of the streaming service. With the connection to Facebook, though, you get to see what your friends are listening to (if they’re using Spotify as well, naturally), as well as easily share what you’re listening to with just a few taps on the display.
Finding ways to tweet, post, or share things online, especially from your phone, has never been easier.
And I find it all very interesting because I look at it as just another way that we escape the face-to-face communication that we used to have, and welcome the digital middleman. I remember actually having a conversation with someone back in high school, and having to take off my headphones to let my friend listen to what I wanted them to listen to. Now, I just have to share a song through Spotify, and in an instant all of my friends on Facebook can listen to what I was listening to.
I love it. Yes, I think that face-to-face communication is still important, which is why you should never bring your tablet to dinner with you, but I can’t help but admit that I love the fact that sharing has just evolved into something that isn’t so focused on the one-to-one, but a widespread message. Sharing a photo is so easy, that keeping extended family in the loop is just too easy not to do it.
I will also admit that I connect my Facebook account to all sorts of different services. Even other social networking services, like Path. Sharing to all my platforms with just one app is quite useful, even if it is funny that I’m updating other social networking apps with a social networking app.
So I’m curious, Dear Reader. How integrated is your social networking profile? How often do you share things on the Internet, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or something else? Or, on the other side of the coin, have you completely disconnected your social networking from your mobile device? Let me know!