Internet - How Real is Cyberspace? Essay

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How Real is Cyberspace?

The term ‘Cyberspace’ was first coined by William Gibson and defined as “a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators” (Gibson 1984, 67). This term has come to shape the evolving universe that encompasses today’s society as Cyberspace is a realm which exists on the Internet and is becoming immensely used globally. “Online experiences challenge what many have traditionally called identity, as on the Internet many people recast identity in terms of multiple windows and parallel lives” (Turkle 1995, 72). The mode of freedom is constructed through computer culture because individuals can access unlimited information and create unlimited identities. However, extended freedom is
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Web users become members of faceless communities, and so connections which rely greatly upon the physical are almost impossible to make through text.

Intimate connections between people are important to maintain relationships as not every emotion or feeling can be conveyed textually. Body language, facial expressions and intimate and comforting gestures are distanced in online relationships because the body is separated from the text, but are crucial to the success of many relationships. For example, cyber sex is an online activity which has become popular among many web users. Participators are able to “converse using text and create a sexual encounter using words alone” (Miah 2000, 221). Cyber sex eliminates intimacy and demeans sex to a text based, emotionless act, rather than an act between individuals who are emotionally and physically connected. Rheingold states that the issue with technosex is that “technology enables people to experience erotic frissons and deep, physical, social, emotional communion with another person with no possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease… and so disembodiment can be the first step to abandoning our bodies” (1991). Individual identities will no longer be chained to the physical body, but to the text and narratives they create online, therefore, altering the conventional sense of
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