11th Oct2011

Online Communities and Networks are Taking Over

by sam

In Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World a network is defined as, “any collection of objects in which some pairs of these objects are connected by links.”  They then go on to say that we “inhabit” social networks which I find a great choice of wording because people have begun to live their lives online, me included.  There is also more of a need for social networks which are global because travel is much more accessible than it was years ago. These networks are allowing people to reconnect with relatives in different countries and old friends.  Social Networking has created a whole new world for people to explore and use to become connected through.

Although I think social networks and the online community are extremely beneficial, I also think they can be extremely detrimental to real life social skills.  In Net Surfers Don’t Ride Alone: Virtual Communities As Communities they explain “critics worry (mostly in print, of course) that life on the Net can never be meaningful or complete because it will lead people away from the full range of in-person contact…they worry that people will get so engulfed in a simulacrum virtual reality, that they will lose contact with “real life.” I have seen this not only in my real life but also on tv. On the tv show The Big Bang Theory there are many examples of the main characters becoming completely attached to a virtual reality game (in which communities are formed) or actually using a computerized robot to replace him while he sat at home.  The girl who was addicted to online gaming lost herself in the virtual world and became unable to have a conversation with a real person and her friend even tried logging into the game to talk to her.  Big Bang Theory Penny Addicted to Online Gaming World

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