A New Idea of Community

January 31, 2007 at 4:55 pm (Soc3390)


The Significance of Virtual Communities was one of my favourtie articles to date. Recently I have noticed that many media sources have been criticizing different aspects of the web saying that it is full of predators and that it has helped establish a more obese youth. I think that this article was really interesting because it looked at the more positive effects that the internet has had on our culture.

For instance lets take a look at what community use to mean, basically it had alot to do with where you lived, where you went to school or where you went to work. People had to associate with other individuals who were in close proximity to themselves. Today however due to technological advances such as the internet people on different continents can easily become associated and stay in touch if they so choose.

Back when I was younger my group of friends was limited to the kids on my street and the ones at my school, very rarely did I associate with people outside of these two realms. However when I moved from Ontario to Calgary I wanted to stay in touch with many of the people that I had grown up with, thanks to the internet and the phone I am able to remain in close contact with several people which would have become strangers to me ultimately because of physical distance.

I think that the internet like the article alludes to, provides a way for people to meet other people with common interests which they most likely would otherwise not have come in contact with. I think that the web gives kids and adults alike a chance to meet people that have similar interests to themselves. The internet opens up this whole new world where people who feel like outsiders in “their communnities” can establish meaningful relationships with people who may be further away proximity wise but may be more similar when it comes to their values and beliefs.

Some people have argued that we have become too technological and that our kids are substituting real life interaction for virtual ones. I do see the point of this statement but I believe like anything thing else moderation is the best solution. I am not suggesting in my blog that virtual communities should take over our lives, I think that face to face interaction is extremely important now and that will also be the case in the future.

My point is this I think that virtual communities are something that we should embrace or at least consider. For many people who may feel different in regards to their peers it would defianately be beneficial for them to get online and meet people with similar tastes. Basically I don’t think that virtual communities should consume our lives but it might be a good way to get people meeting other people that 1) they otherwise would never have met and 2) may foster similar interests to themselves.



  1. hoolia said,

    Bob Loblaw!! You have already won my heart because you are so obviously a fan of Arrested Development, the greatest show ever to be made in all of history…according to me!!
    And your blog is awesome too!! You make some important points here, I was pretty keen on focusing on the negative aspects of the internet, and I haven’t read the above article yet 😉 so this was an interesting read for me. We’re all so eager to demonize everything, we tend to forget the opportunities things like the internet have opened up to us.
    Cacoocacha! You win!!

  2. biohelixx said,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I live with what my mother has always called “the Curse of Gypsy Life: no matter where you are, you always miss someone or something”. I’ve always seen a lot of truth in her words, especially for my own life, but it helps to have something like the internet to bridge the gap.

    I lived in Denmark for almost four and a half years, and I don’t know what I would have without email and the phone and messenger services. I left my mother and many friends behind, and I desperately didn’t want to lose touch. Thankfully I had a way to avoid that. Now that I’m home again, I’m still in the same place: I miss my dad, who is in Switzerland, and my little half-brother and friends that I made in Europe while I lived there.

    Obviously there’s the possibility of misuse and danger to minors in any virtual community, but isn’t that like everything else? There are rules about what a tv station can broadcast before 9pm, there are ratings that appear on the screen for every show. And let’s face, even in a tight-knit community, the possibility of F2F child exploitation remains,..nothing is absolutely safe, or absolutely unsafe, but you have to use your common sense…which admittedly, is unfortunately not so common.

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