Explore the Role of Digital Media, Particularly the World Wide Web, in the Formation of Online Communities and the New Forms of Social/Cultural Identities in Virtual Space. What Implications Do New Forms of Interactions

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Explore the role of digital media, particularly the World Wide Web, in the formation of online communities and the new forms of social/cultural identities in virtual space. What implications do new forms of interactions online have on our understanding of ‘community’ and ‘democracy’?

Digital media is responsible for the formation of online communities and creating a society and culture that merges societies and divisions, and thus this form of medium has become more real to humans than reality itself, and virtual reality has taken over human’s ideas of community and democracies.

This essay will discuss how online communities have been developed and how they have in turn created new societies and cultures found online; these new societies and cultures have created acceptance for many people for many different reasons. It will also be discussed how digital media and online communities our affecting our understanding of community and democracy and how this is will affect our local communities.

The most ideal way to define digital media is that it is the different platforms on which people communicate electronically. (Flanzraich par.3) Through digital media online communities are developed and established. Online communities are groups of people who use the World Wide Web to create Internet Web sites, chat rooms, newsgroups, emails, discussion boards and forums to interact with others who share the same interests, or simply to communicate with friends/family. (Owyang par.3)

Online communities could not exist without digital media in particular the World Wide Web. Mark Nunes explains how “The World Wide Web has created a hypertext that offers users the opportunity to connect to networks, computers and servers through a simple lived practice of clicking and pointing.”(Nunes 49). His idea that the virtual world is only possible through a network of interconnecting servers and potential for each user to reach this site from anywhere at any time through the World Wide Web (Nunes 49) supports my argument as online communities are only able to be developed and exposed to users through the use of hypertext and the World Wide Web, thus online communities could not exist otherwise. Digital Media has created a society and culture that merges societies and divisions. Society today has become very dependant on digital media and electronic networks, using these outlets as their main source of communication. The creations of Facebook, Twitter, Msn Messenger and so on have all affected our views on society and have created a new form of society and culture which is found online. It has changed the way we communicate.

As the networks for sharing and amplifying information strengthen, the ability of each person to influence public opinion and policies increases. As a result, we feel much less like passive bystanders and much more like participants who have a voice in the events in our world. (Gordhamer par.17)

Gordhamer explains that social networking through online communities has changed the way we communicate. Through online communities we have the ability to influence public opinion. The societies formed through online communities gives people the ability to share and amplify information and participate in global events by sharing our ideas. This communication is not possible without having online communities as our outlet for expression.

Digital media and online communities have played an important role in creating new forms of social and cultural identities in virtual space. The world has become increasingly dependant on new forms of technologies and communication mechanisms, and people have become fixated on using such outlets to connect to other people. “Like the automation of various library systems, the transition will be an extended series of quiet revolutions, until a time when it will be difficult to imagine a period before digital media.” (Kawamoto 63). This quote suggests that soon it will become difficult...
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