Virtual Togetherness: Sense of Identity and Community in Cyberspace
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It is an uncontroversial statement to say that we live in an age of the enormous influence of information technology. The Internet in particular has been instrumental in shaping and reshaping modern reality. It harbours millions of communities and social networks, where people interact with each other on a daily basis. What are we to think of them? Do they represent a new Renaissance of social interactions or rather a demise of the traditional community? In the following article I argue that it is something entirely different. The Internet, I propose, should be viewed as a new, different environment for communities to form and thrive. Not only are those communities formed online, they also display a wide range of features, which make them legitimate communities, and not entities impoverished in the social sense. Those communities have a profound effect on the identity of their participants.
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