Online Communities

Communities are all about groups of individuals who share something in common. This makes going on the internet seem like an odd way to find more communities, form new ones, or strengthen pre-existing ones. The internet however is full of communities. Communities can be based upon religion, location, ethnicity, an interest, or a personal matter. The internet itself is “a global distributed data communications network” (Kirmayer, Raikhel, & Rahimi, 2013, p. 166). This is what makes the internet so full of communities because communication is the key to putting multiple individuals with commonalities into communication, which is the basis of any community. Online communities differ from communities that exists off the web in a couple of big ways such as authority figures, anonymity, and lack of hierarchy within communities. These online communities have a lack of privacy and have the ability to hold onto information for long periods of time. Individuals lives are also impacted by these online communities in various methods such as cyber bullying.

While these impacts may make communities on the internet seem similar to their offline counterparts there are quite distinctive differences. Although online communities offer opportunities for anonymous interactions and in fact on some sites “members are usually anonymous with regard to each other” (Cellary, 2008, p. 107), the internet is sometimes subject to “new forms of surveillance and social control by states and other powerful organizations`` (Kirmayer, Raikhel, & Rahimi, 2013, p. 166). This varies from offline communities as there is little to no chance for anonyminitimity, and surveillance is often only to the point of protecting the rights of individuals. Communities that are n...

... middle of paper ...

...ternet social network communities: Risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns. Computer in Human Behavior, 25, 153-160. 10.1016/j.chb.2008.08.006

Kirmayer, L. J., Raikhel, E., & Rahimi, S. (2013) Cultures of the Internet: Identity, community and mental health. Transcultural Psychiatry, 50(2), 165-191. 10.1177/1363461513490626

Cellary, W. (2008). Content Communities on the Internet. The Profession, 106-108.

Cyber Bullying Statistics. (n.d.). Bullying Statistics. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from

How to upload videos. (n.d.). Youtube Help. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from

Safe Social Networking. (n.d.). Stay Smart Online. Retrieved November 24, 2013, from

More about Online Communities

Get Access