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The Internet: The Resource to Search for One's Self

I believe the articles for this week focused on the human anonymity within the internet. “MUDS? as described by Turks can be a safe place for individual exploration and the opportunity for people to belong to a community. This community, although virtual, often blurs into reality and individuals can be confused and controlled by this sense of belonging.

The following statement is a description of the ways people are using virtual communities as a crutch and catalyst to present their so-called true selves:
“The internet has become a significant social laboratory for experimenting with the constructions and reconstructions of self that characterize postmodern life. (Turkle, p.180)

It is my belief that often people are using pseudonyms and avatars that may not truly describe who they are physically, emotionally, socially, etc. For this reason, I myself support the use of pseudonyms as a form of online protection. I have not been introduced to using avatars as described in the Kirkpatrick reading but assume in the near future this may be the necessary norm in the virtual communities that I belong to. I personally do not subscribe to many online communities as my social commitments lead me to desire physical presence of one to one communication. Meaning my social community is the sort of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, churches, and other city hotspots.

My own beliefs about social interaction and social communities leave me with doubts that people will be able to “fill the gap with neighborhoods in cyberspace. (Turkle, p.233) To me Turkle is leading us to believe that the world is becoming less social within our communities, therefore people are seeking community through non conventional sources such as the internet. Interestingly true, but I don’t believe it is too difficult to say hello to your neighbor while getting your mail, etc. In short, I would encourage individuals using online to seek social acceptance to use this as a tool and not a way of life.

I had a challenge fully understanding Second Life but through the Kirkpatrick reading it is obvious that virtual communities are now exploding in the business world. In this case I should be educated on this specific program, the benefits, and the ethics and safety behind it. Kirkpatrick stated that “The virtual world-don’t call it a game,? accompanied with the support of companies such as IBM, signifies that the virtual world can be a respected and useful place.

Comments

I think SL would be nice for helping people that are in other states or nations. When I was a technician it was a supreme challenge when I had to explain things over the phone. This could be useful.