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Thursday 30, Dec 2010RSS Feed
2010: The year we stopped talking. From texting at dinner, or even while driving, to posting on Facebook from work, are we really better off and that much more connected?

Since 2010 is going to draw to a close in just a few days, I have been reflecting about which web related technology has had the biggest impact on the website design and hosting industry in 2010.

I read today, that according to Google, "Facebook" was the most popular search term and most visited website in 2010.

It can easily be argued that Wikileaks, Net Neutrality, 4G, Apps, Cloud Computing, DDos attacks, HTML 5, Online TV, the iPad and all the rest of 2010's technologies and innovative websites were much more influential than social media in 2010. However, in my opinion, I believe none of the above technologies can even hold a candle to the affect that social media has played in both people's lives and doing business on the web in 2010.

I can almost guarantee you that while attending this year's holiday get together, functions, and parties we all witnessed someone texting, checking their email, updating Facebook, or performing some other web related task via a mobile device. I wonder how many pre-teens received web-enabled mobile devices this year as gifts?

It's quite possible that 2011 may actually see the web design industry take a couple of steps back in time and revisit the days when we designed for very limited/small screen sizes.

I came across this article from USA Today, and I have to say without a doubt that social media, whether you appreciate it or despise it, has undoubtedly played the biggest role on the web in 2010.

2010: The year technology replaced talking.

By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY

When Gretchen Baxter gets home from work as a New York City book editor, she checks her BlackBerry at the door.

"I think we are attached to these devices in a way that is not always positive," says Baxter, who'd rather focus at home on her husband and 12-year-old daughter. "It's there and it beckons. That's human nature (but) ... we kind of get crazy sometimes and we don't know where it should stop."

Americans are connected at unprecedented levels - 93% now use cellphones or wireless devices; one-third of those are "smartphones" that allow users to browse the Web and check e-mail, among other things. The benefits are obvious: checking messages on the road, staying in touch with friends and family, efficiently using time once spent waiting around.

The downside: Often, we're effectively disconnecting from those in the same room.

That's why, despite all the technology that makes communicating easier than ever, 2010 was the Year We Stopped Talking to One Another. From texting at dinner to posting on Facebook from work or checking e-mail while on a date, the connectivity revolution is creating a lot of divided attention, not to mention social angst. Many analysts say it's time to step back and reassess.

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