A Virtual community is different from the experience of a real community

Essay by stevepro February 2005

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Is a Virtual community any different from a real community? Is the Virtual

community real or imaginary? I plan to find out...

Due to the enormous increase in numbers of internet users, over the past several years,

virtual communities have been created and are being used by millions all over the

world. Virtual communities are used for users to interact with other users whilst they

are surfing the web.

The Web allows immediate interaction, and as in real space many different types of

communities exist. The power of the Internet's connectivity with people from all over

the world means cyberspace is most prominently a place to socialise and play, and to

many enthusiasts the web is a virtual playground where people can gossip, flirt, fall in

love, argue, exchange knowledge etc. As Rheingold states in his book "'The Virtual Community" "People in virtual

communities do just about everything people do in real life, but we leave our bodies


More and more people every day are 'socialising' on the web, whether it is on chat

sites, forums or newsgroups, they all provide some sort of social interaction.

As Rheingold wrote: "you can't simply pick up a phone and ask to be connected with

someone who wants to talk about Islamic art or California wine... you can however,

join a computer conferences on any of these topics."

Some say that virtual communities are a good way to interact and make new friends

and for those less fortunate e.g. people who find it hard to interact with others or who

may be ill or have a disability of some sort can make new friends and have some sort

of interaction with other people, rather than the same people they see at home day in

day out. A number of people say...