The Effects of Cyberspace: Reflections and Transformations

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Everyone knows how it feels to wish they could be some else. At some point almost everyone thinks about what it would be like to see things from a different perspective. The internet provides a safe and easy way for people to "try out new identities." It gives people the opportunity to have lives that are completely unconnected to their real identity. Sherry Turkle theorizes in "Cyberspace and Identity" that those who make the most of their online lives approach it in spirit of self-reflection and those who are aware of their online personalities use the internet for personal and social transformations. Alex Pham's "Boy, You Fight Like a Girl" confirms Turkle's theory that cyberspace is used by many people as a means of self reflection as well as for personal and social transformations. Pham's essay provides specific examples of these transformations and reflections. It is clear in her essay certain people discover things online and reflect back on themselves while others transform themselves online to let different sides of their personalities escape and act differently then they ever would in real life. Many people use virtual communities as a means of self-reflection. As Turkle explains the people who make the most of their online lives see it as a means of self-reflection. This means they use it as a way to better understand themselves as well as improve they way they treat others. Taking on different identities allows a person to see things from different perspectives and understand the thoughts and actions of other people. An obvious example of this represented in Pham's essay is men pretending to be women and women pretending to be men. In real life it is hard for the opposite sex to understand how the other is treated on a daily basis. The internet allows males and females to play roles of the opposite sex and explore a little of what the other experiences. One specific example from Pham's essay is Ralph Koster, a 29 year old who plays a...
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