Technological advances have changed the lives of very many people today in the world. This is because most of the things that were being done in the past are no more thanks to advances in technology. Some of those things include sending letters by post to the dear ones, traveling long distances to make a call fro a booth. In the contemporary world, sending letters has been replaced by things like emails, short messaging systems, and also social sites like Facebook, where people are able to chat.
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The new Cyber communities
According to Douglas (2007), all these things have come each at a time and have affected humanity positively as well as negatively. He notes that as much as technology makes life easier for us, it is also responsible for our sufferings at times. For instance, he points out that online learning has made the costs of acquiring education cheap because the student does not have to attend lectures, which are usually the expensive part of education. In addition, online learning gives room for a student to do other things as she does not have to spend all her time reading; that is, a student becomes the master of how he or she wants to attend classes.
Regarding online dating and the chat rooms, Adler (2011) has observed that many people have managed to get life partners once they log in to these sites. However, according to him, some of the people have reported being cheated and exploited on such sites. This has made others, particularly women, to desist from visiting the sites. Concerning social networking, skype, or even message boards, he notes that people have been able to make new friends who have become relevant later on in their life.
Impacts of cyber communities on our relationships
Cyber communities have had both positive and negative impacts on the way we interact with people. Ananda (2010) claims that there is a lot of impersonation by some people and therefore making others think that they are chatting with the right person when actually the opposite is the case. Having realized that, people no longer accept other peoples’ request without confirming their real identity. Moreover, he has observed that there are other people who use the sites to settle scores, and thus many shun from joining the likes of facebook or twitter.
Impact of cyber communities on deviant loners, colleagues, crews and formal deviant organization
Deviant loners are known not to associate with other people, and therefore one of the impacts the cyber community may have on them is that it may encourage them to continue engaging in cyberspace crime while concealing their identity. Ananda (2010) adds that cyber communities might impact the colleagues negatively in that they are able to share their ideas no matter the distance and hence strategize on their next move. According to him, crews are composed of about 12 people or less.
He argues that in most cases, these people have a very strict rule that governs their engagement. As a result, he notes that cyber communities may help such a group with ideas on how to carry on with their group. Formal deviant groups may get an opportunity to continue with their dirty works. For instance, if they are involved in conning people of their money, the trend is likely to continue.
The cyber communities have, in a great way, helped eliminate the stigma associated with self-harm. For instance, Adler (2011) notes that people do post a number of useful materials that can be read by all concerned parties. In addition, self-harmers are able to meet others with whom they can share their stories.
Facebook is my cyber community, and from it, I have managed not only get to have new friends but also chat with my friends who are in far places like in England and Australia. This is a free social networking site where anyone can join and find old friends. In my own opinion, this site has led to a greater social connection among Americans. This is because we are able to get in touch with some people who we have not met for years.
The fact that we were used to making calls in telephone booths sometimes back, we can say that cyber communities have reduced the distance in that we can see each other as we communicate over the internet.
Advances in technology have really helped us move forward in many instances, and therefore we should strive to make good use of this technology other than look for ways of depriving people of their resources. The government should formulate laws that make it a criminal offense for anyone found engaging in cybercrime.
Adler, P. (2011). The Tender Cut: Inside the Hidden World of Self-Injury. New York: New York University Press.
Ananda, M. (2010). Digital Communications: From E-mail to the Cyber Community. New York: InfoBase Publishing.
Douglas, A. (2007). Online communities. Berlin: Springer.