It’s been made clear that Web 2.0 is completely different from Web 1.0 with the vast number of technological improvements. In the early 1990s, the internet was considered as male domain and women weren’t really a part of that domain, like they are now. The addition of women has changed the way web 2.0 is now viewed. Web 2.0 is really all about personal interpretation and customization. Social networking sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites are being used as personal platforms to create change in the way gender relations are viewed and controlled. Gender relations are defined as: male and female roles, attitudes, and how these roles interact with each other.
The constant re-defining of gender roles continues to effect web 2.0. When we decide to become new users for most social networking sites, we are required to fill out an electronic application asking us our demographic information such as our age, birthdate, address and other things, but most importantly…gender. To become a new user, we are forced to either chose male or female in the gender section. The question is: why is this information so important? To say the least, as humans, we feel the need to know who we are talking to and what kind of person they are in order to know how to communicate with them. Just like everyone else, the ways that I communicate with males are completely different than the ways that I communicate with females. To communicate and establish connections effectively, one needs to know who the person is.
In this new technological generation, gender topics aren’t really negotiated because everyone has free reign to be whomever they want. Funky Dineva is a celebrity gossip blogger. At first glance, based off the name, the topic of choice, and the format of the blog, a new user or viewer would think that Funky Dineva is a female. She is however, a man who considers and sees himself as a woman. So where does gender relations come into play in an instance like that? I think the answer depends on who’s answering the question. Some may say that as a homosexual male, he should stick to that role instead of cross dressing attempting to emulate a woman. Others may say that he is in acting within his gender relations since he does see himself as a woman.
One of the best features about web 2.0 though, is that the choice of answering ‘male’ or female should not be needed because there are several other ways to figure out that question. In addition to SNS, blogs are a great indicator in showing how gender roles affect web 2.0. Facebook is a SNS, but for some it is also used as blog/personal diary. A few years ago, Facebook had a limited number of characters allowed in each Facebook post. Because of this limitation, users were posting several posts at a time just to share a story or rant or something of that nature. Facebook took notice of this and if you notice now, users no longer have a character limit to their posts, which allows users to turn their Facebook pages into personal diaries, all the while enjoying the benefits of a typical SNS. By having the ability to control ones own blog, a user does not have to put a picture of themselves as their avatar if they don’t want to. The knowledge in finding out who you may be talking to comes from what is mentioned in the blog. Studies have shown that males blog more about specific things, while females blog more about emotional things, appears to be true. I have a guy friend that blogs about his job as a television news producer and the new things he learns about while on the job. I have a friend that’s a girl, who blogs about fashion, hair, nails, food, and occasionally, a few of her posts have been her venting about school, or family or work, or even her boyfriend. This is where gender relations take place; by noticing how males and females play their roles on these SNS.
In the next few generations, I personally don’t believe a big change will come to the world of social media in regards to gender relations. If anything, I believe that gender relations and the way to act and how not to act, will become a thing of the past. This video, provides more insight on gender relations and how it is affecting social media now and how it will be in the future. But what do you think about gender relations? Is it here to stay? Is the line of classifying male of female now blurred? Are there other ways that gender relations have helped shape web 2.0??