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Virtual and Real Communities - Assignment Example

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Unlike the traditional methods of learning, distance learning took a different form of teaching that allowed people in different locations around the world to learn in real time and without many barriers in their way. Other areas of life picked up this model of communicating over the World Wide Web to increase the communication rates around the world (Doheny-Farina, 1998). This saw to the birth of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus that virtually brought people from many locations around the world into a community with many similarities to a real and geographically located one. This paper shall concern itself with the comparing and contrasting of these two types of communities. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of community shall be discussed and expounded upon to give a true picture of each type of community. The first part of this paper shall argue in the favor of online communities and the benefits they bring to the human community. First of all, the term ‘virtual community’ is a direct derivation of a 1993 book by the same title written by Howard Rheingold. Rheingold is one of the most known proponents of virtual communities and is even dubbed the first citizen of the internet (Gauntlett, 2008). He points out several benefits he attributes to virtual communities found solely on the internet. ...
These communities enable the members share information on the care they receive and ways of handling complex situations which other members may not be aware of (Horsley & Gauntlett, 2004). This group of communities, as Rheingold puts it, has been known to save many lives at a cheaper cost than real and geographically conscious ones would. One other advantage with these virtual communities is that, due to their virtual nature, they enable the members discuss issues they would otherwise find hard to discuss with other people on a face to face basis. Being virtual also enables the members seek the specific information required without being bothered with procedures that may not make sense to them in any way. Another evident advantage of being a member to a virtual community is it enables the members find ideas that they could not manage to get anywhere else without much of a hustle. Information has been of late flowing faster on social networks compared to other forms of media. Online platforms have enabled youths especially to air their voices to the wider world without a need for seeking out a government form of media (Howard & Jones, 2013). This has also forced politicians into taking their campaigns online since there are larger communities there whose votes can be tapped at a cheaper and more satisfying rate compared to physical campaigns. Few ideas are thus hidden from the public when a majority of the citizens are online where information easily goes viral and gets to most social site users. A fourth point in favor of virtual communities is the freedom that comes with the use of the sites that host the virtual communities. While the geographical and real communities would ...Show more
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Summary

Since the advent of modern-day technology, the academic arena has experienced many changes some to its favor while others are detrimental. One of the most notable areas as a result of technology has been the introduction and advancement of distance learning. …
Virtual and Real Communities
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