The advent of the Internet has allowed us the advantage of doing practically anything on-line. For example, we can shop, do research, browse for entertainment and communicate. We do all of this without leaving the comfort of our homes. One of the most popular on-line activities is chat. One can talk to others thru on-line message boards, e-mail and instant messenger services. On-line chat, especially thru specific groups, creates Internet communities. As Neil Postman states, â€œAll technological change is a Faustian Bargain. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantageâ€ (289). On-line communities offer many advantages which I feel outweigh any disadvantages.
A community is composed of a group of people that share similar interests. This holds true for both on and off-line communities. Although I havenâ€™t participated in any chat groups or instant messenger services, my other half, Dave, participates in them on a regular basis. An avid music fan, Dave uses them to keep up to date and talk about some of his favorite musicians and bands. Heâ€™s able to get information which is important to him that he may have missed and meet new people. The only thing that he considers to be a disadvantage, is when people whom he wouldnâ€™t talk to off-line try to talk on-line with him. However, this is simply just a nuisance as he doesnâ€™t have to reply if he prefers not to.
On-line communities are advantageous to many people. Those with physical and/or
mental disabilities, who may be shunned by the majority of people in real life, can â€œbelongâ€ on-line. They only have to reveal their disability if they choose to, whereas in real-life it can be easily discerned. Persons who are shy and may not say certain things face to face have the
â€œsecurity of anonymityâ€ on-line, they can â€œactâ€ and choose to be any personality