Essay on In what sense are virtual communities real?

1351 Words Jan 7th, 2014 6 Pages
In what sense(s) are virtual communities real communities?

A virtual community is a network of people who interact through various forms of media, and allow users to obtain support, advice, friendship and sometimes merely just interaction with others. In a world where the internet is becoming ever more important, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are now a part of many people's every day lives, there is a strong sense that online, virtual communities are becoming ever more important, perhaps more so than real-life communities. This rise in the virtual communities has led to an intense debate – somewhat ironically, on the internet – as to whether these communities are, or even can be, real. The debates are
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The place of “idle talk and banter with acquaintances and friends,” is often where a persons feeling of involvement in a community is achieved and experienced.3 Cafes, parks, and pubs once provided this environment, but in the age of large-scale shopping centres, drive-thru restaurants, shrinking public spaces, and residential isolation, this sense of wanting to be a part of a community is left unfulfilled. Oldenburg argues that modernity has created a culture in which the home and the workplace remain as the only two places people actively interact with others, and believes that it should not be surprising then that millions of people throughout the world turn to the Internet to re-create and re-establish the sense of community which has now been lost in…