Understanding Communications has allowed me to reimagine our world as we know it. I feel that the internet is global village, a town-square where folk go to listen to the goings on of other townsfolk, to learn about their lives, the lives of the untouchables, celebrities and the like. Parks says that social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace are virtual communities, and categorises them as communities because being in a community;
“feels good; it evokes feelings of friendliness, trust and belonging that are often deemed lacking in ruthless invididualistic times” later going on to mention that “traditional, densely-knit communities have been undermined by urbanisation and industrialisation so that most people no experienced their social ties as transitory, disconnected and impersonal,” (Parks, 2010, p107)
I think that a virtual reality just adds another layer to my already multifaceted identity. The real world has many spheres, such as social, work, domestic, educational and these groups rarely intersect without our intervention. The polymorphic nature of communal interwebs create the one village corner where every person from every area of your life can be and interact. This makes me highly paranoid, as the cross-over of my personal, social, sporting and educational spheres mesh together. The mass self-communication (Castells, 2009, p54) that appears on my newsfeed are slices of information I deem unnecessary to know, “privacy is long forgone” (Castells, 2009, p57). The fact that this information is accessible and interactive means it can be edited and anonymous, leading to the issue of reliability of the information and the source, as well as the motives/agenda of the author in the first place. With the internet being by nature, a mostly intangible space, writing has never been more significant in the advertisement of the self, be it via social networking or for work purposes (with the exception of video and music sharing of course), (Barak and Schtatfeld, 2010, p31). I felt this was an interesting notion as I previously thought that writing was a dying art, when in fact writing is growing exponentially for the purposes of online interaction.
Barak, A. Schtatfeld, R. 2010, ‘Factors Related to Initiating Interpersonal Contacts on Internet Dating Sites: A View from the Social Exchange Theory.’ In Buchanan, T. Whitty, M (eds) Special Issues on Matchmaking methods in the 21st Century. . http://interpersona.org/issues/interpersona-3-suppl-2-december-2009/
Castells, M. 2009, ‘Communication in the Digital Age.’ In Communication Power, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp54-71
Parks. M, 2010, ‘Social Network Sites as Virtual Communities.’ In Papacharissi, Z. (ed) A Networked Self: Identity, Community and Culture on Social Network Sites, Routeledge, New York, pp106-23