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The Hidden Dimensions of 'Cyber' Culture

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Introduction

Tracy Marin ENG 100 Essay # 3 October 11, 2005 Rough Draft The Hidden Dimensions of 'Cyber' Culture It's 10:30 pm. Everyone seems to be asleep, but not quite. Something waits for me beyond the walls of my room. I sit on my swiveling chair, and let the computer screen glow against my face. I launch the internet browser and with just one click on My Favorites folder (contains important saved links of sites), I have the home page of "JoliesNipple" Forum in front of my eyes in no time. Meanwhile, MSN (instant messenger) automatically logs me in obediently, letting know my ingroup that I'm online and available for active interaction. I browse through dozens of topics and responses of members that the forum gained for the day. As a two-year old member, eventually, I'll have to figure out my contribution to most of these topics, something necessary in order to maintain my rising status of popularity in the group. A forum is an online discussion group where members (fans) with common interests exchange open messages and discussions. "JoliesNipple" Forum consists of approximately 165 registered users, who are Angelina Jolie dedicated fans. The ages of regular members mostly range from 14 to 27 years old. I myself have been a part of this troop for two years now. From all over the world, we are all brought together with one reason - our admiration for one actress. ...read more.

Middle

Usually, readers post comments and advice for every journal entry. Consequently, this increases the bonding within the subgroup. According to Kendall, role expectation is a group's definition of the way that a specific role ought to be played. Forum-wise, everybody's expected role is to post and contribute along with the discussions. Darwinists emphasize this role as a necessity for online members in order to survive, advance and keep up with their status in the group, because the more you post, the more you are known and accepted by everyone. On the other hand, however, role performance is how a member actually plays the role. I found out that only 25% of the forum members are regular posters, while the rest are inactive or idle. This suggests that role performance doesn't always match the role expectation. Individuals must earn their acceptance with their peers by also meeting the group's demands for a high level of conformity to its own norms, attitudes and speech. Typically, the higher class members become the "reference group" within the whole group. In our case, these people are seen as 'cool' by the rest of the members. A great example is "MySpace", which is a free service that uses the Internet for online communication through an interactive network of photos, weblogs, user profiles, e-mail, web forums, and groups, as well as other media formats. ...read more.

Conclusion

A group is a collection of two or more people who interact frequently with one another, share a sense of belonging and have a feeling of interdependence (Kendall). I have come to realize that even though it is possible to form online groups and communities, "this may not add up to the establishment of true social groups in a traditional sociological sense" (Kendall, 120). No matter how the group - "JoliesNippleForum" - clearly meets all of these requirements of a 'social' group with all the factors present as previously discussed, still, the community is more likely be weak that will not last long as opposed to face-to-face affairs. If it does persist that long, then this group is very rare. By evaluating the chances we catch and talk to each other online these days, I have noticed how the group is currently in the phase of "avoidance" and "deterioration", as we keep in touch less now. Everyone seems to be doing their own thing at the moment. It seems as if the rapid communication link that the internet provides makes forum members get so easily tired of each other. However, when you think about it, two years is an extended time for cyberspace and we, the members, didn't expect that the group would even be this intimately close to one another, or even last this long at all. This makes "JoliesNippleForum" a one of a kind. ?? ?? ?? ?? Marin 1 ...read more.

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