Friday, 19 October 2012

Models of cyberspace II

2: Do you think group memberships are important to communication in cyberspace and why?

Group memberships are very important when concerning communication via the cyberspace environment, even when considering the lack of physically present cues and senses such as touch, smell and physical presence. Groups in cyberspace can lead to discussions of topics, huge online support aimed for specific groups, such as ‘’, and communication between people for educational purposes, such as Moodle; all of which are extremely useful and are positive uses of the cyberspace environment and group activities. Another factor of groups such as Moodle are important as resources that are posted on Moodle for students would not be available unless students are a part of the Moodle group, therefore illustrating further the necessity of group membership in cyberspace.

Ultimately, group memberships bring people together that share interests, experiences or hobbies, thus initiating an immediate discussion point and support within a group if needed. Because of this ability, group support is much more available through cyberspace than when face to face, and it is much easier to become part of a chosen group to discuss and share what is necessary for that chosen group. Group memberships in Cyberspace allows for people to understand exactly what someone is going through because of the immediate similarities between group members, again allowing support mechanisms for those that need it. Another advantage of being involved in an online group is that people generally feel it is easier to talk online as they have time to think about what they want to say as well as being immune from immediate face to face responses. Also, anonymity increases the ability to communicate with others about a given subject topic, as people can say whatever they like without having to face up to the responses that may be formed, which is quite dissimilar to real-world group membership. Although group memberships are incredibly important to communication online, this accessibility can also attract negative group discussions, for example paedophiles or other criminals who may want to discuss how they became involved in this interest and share how they go about supplying themselves with their needs. The ability to be completely anonymous in cyberspace increases the dangerousness and severity of having access to these group discussions, thus highlighting the negative side of the importance of group memberships. Nonetheless, in this case group memberships are important to the people that are criminals and want to discuss it with others, whether negatively or positively utilised.


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