The other day I referenced an article on teaching the basics of Web 2.0 by using Facebook as the example. Last night my 15-year old was asking me about my Netvibes account and I was explaining that it was a way for me to be automatically updated when new information was added to my favorite blogs and news sources.
"Oh--like the News Feed in Facebook," she said.
What also struck me about the conversation is that while my daughter is a digital native, she doesn't know a lot of the social media terminology. She just uses the stuff and doesn't worry about what it's called. To a certain extent, that's where we all have to go--to a place where we're using the tools as part of our personal work and learning and not worrying about terminology or being scared away by the terms. While my 15-year old and her 19-year old sister are well-versed in most of the tools (my older daughter is now interning for a start-up wiki on celebrities), if I use a term like "social networking site" or "RSS" they just look at me blankly.
I keep coming back to the fact that using the stuff is the only way to really get it. Just talking about it can end up scaring people away. It may be time to throw them in the deep end.