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Myspace doesn't make my "Top 8"

Ok, I’d like to start this off by wishing everyone a happy Valentines Day. And I believe that because this week hosts such a Hallmark holiday, the idea of online communities are a perfect conversation piece.

I am or have been involved in online communities. I am currently on the Facebook, and becoming a valid member with in this community. It counts! ? The other communities I have been involved in, I used mainly for information purposes. These mainly included forums for Xbox, when I used to have time for video games. Within those communities, I was mainly just a lurker, as Baym puts it. The only time I participated was when I really needed to find something out that I wasn’t able to get from other peoples conversations. I do not have a Myspace page, because I just don’t see the point…..for me. I already feel bad enough that I have a profile on the facebook, but it proves to be useful once in a while. I’ve noticed that other people in this discussion also feel the same way when it comes to Myspace and Facebook.

As I was taking a look through everyone’s posts thus far, I was rather surprised to see how many of you actually acknowledged the online community as a legitimate community. That’s not to say that I don’t agree, but I thought that there would for sure be people out there who think that online communities contain no legitimacy at all. Just for fun, I looked up the definition of community online, and there were over ten definitions that came up. I read through each one of them, and I did not see one which an online community did not meet the requirements of. However, I feel there are definite limitations that are set by online communities in comparison to real life communities. The main limitation is that in the online world, you can’t actually have physical contact with others. To me, online communities are great for the use of words, but for actually having a physical relationship, I just don’t think they cut-it in that respect. When I’m interacting with someone, I would much rather prefer to see them in person. I understand that there might be some argument to this by saying people identify themselves on Myspace and Facebook with pictures of themselves, or how we even made Avatars. But in my opinion, it is still not the same as actually experiencing that in real life. Boyd talks about how Myspace and how some of its characteristics have the same effect of a real life community, whereas others don’t. The idea of befriending people on Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster is not realistic in my opinion. However, I thought that Boyd made an interesting point of how certain things on Myspace, for instance the top 8, can affect real life relationships and communities. I found this to be so interesting because I could never see myself becoming that involved and care about an online community so much. As someone said in their review, “It’s just freakin’ Myspace!? I also agree with md2506’s post in the sense that the older and more experienced partakers in these communities probably do not have so much drama, and do not become as involved as the younger, more immature, and less experienced users.

Overall, I feel that online communities serve a purpose for many people. However, I do not feel that they will ever take the place of a real life community. People (at least I will) always feel the need for the physical aspect of relationships and communities that the online world can not provide.