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My Space

The internet has undoubtedly brought people together in a way unprecedented in history.

It is now possible to meet people not only without leaving the comfort of your own home, but to make friends from around the world. For those of us with daily internet access, and especially for those who came of age in the internet era, it is probably not an exaggeration to say that most of our friendships even our romantic relationships were facilitated by email, chat rooms, and websites such as MySpace. We are connecting like never before, forming our villages in cyberspace.

But does this really mean that we are all being “brought together”? Is the world really becoming one big village? First of all, our cyberspace communities lack an essential aspect of a village: the members do not depend on one another for survival, unless it is of an emotional kind. If you get fired and can’t afford groceries, it is unlikely that another member of your guinea pig lovers forum will lend you money or even send you food. We share commonalities with our cyberspace friends, we may even love them, but when it comes down to it, it is not about life or death.

Secondly, a village is only a village because there are other villages, and often threatening ones, just beyond the boundary lines. Our cyber communities may extend over the borders of nation states, but those borders still exist, and so do the conflicts over their placement and what happens within them. The fact that President Bush could have sent an email to Saddam Hussein anytime he wanted did not prevent the Iraq War. We may be able to make global connectionsPsychology Articles, but that does not mean we all want to be a part of the same village.

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