Internet Family!

I think community is very important for the good not only of the world at large, but the people themselves who make up these vast and numerous worlds. I believe we all wish to belong to something, to be cared about, to be important – but often, things aren’t quite as easy. People are different, which means you’re going to have extroverts who excel at societal communication – meeting a bevy of strangers at concerts, in clubs; people who aren’t intimidated by the inundation of stimuli. Unfortunately, the reverse exists, some people are introverts and might be uncomfortable in big settings, but the thing is because communities are so large nowadays – the advent of globalization along with mass communication and mass transportation, a lot of people co-exist and because there are so many – some people are left behind and might suffer rejection and fall into a rut of depression. Too much stimuli makes it difficult to fully ingratiate the world one is in (Conniff, 2005).

Luckily, communities sprout everywhere. I know that when I first moved to Pennsylvania from New York, I was a bit depressed because I knew no one but I went online, joined a LETS MEET group that involved people interested in tennis and one for chess, this small group of people is diverse but due to our close bond – we are always there for one another in a time of crisis. It’s a small group, and as such, all the needs of the group members are met. A parallel can be drawn between this and our hunter-gatherer pasts wherein humanity was designed to only process a certain amount of stimuli – the result is we now avoid other people because we see too many people in sprawling towns and cities and ultimately shut down cognitively and do not interact with others. Before the advent of technology, this was practically social suicide for others that brought with it mass depression. But instant messaging applications and internet forums have made it very easy to keep in touch with friends who live far away, to join online MMO’s (Massive multiplayer online gaming for the less nerdy of you) like World of Warcraft or League of Legends (Linden Labs, n.d.) The result is a robust variety of possibilities for one to find their niche online.


Hence it becomes clear that community need not be some purely physical domain. It can be virtual – enjoyed from the comfort of one’s home wherein they interact with others thousands of miles away. Just because the world seems to have ignored the burden stimulus overload can have on people, doesn’t mean they can’t find their own community that affords them the happiness and security they need to thrive.


Conniff, R. (2005). The Ape in the Corner Office: Understanding the Workplace Beast in All of Us. New York: Crown Business

Linden Labs. (n.d.). What is Second Life? Retrieved online at:

1 comment

  1. I agree that the type of personality one has often determines how much social interaction they are comfortable with. I am over fifty and although I use technology on a daily basis and enjoy the wealth of information that is available with a few keystrokes, I worry about the amount of time some people spend in front of a computer “chatting” with friends. Online communities and virtual worlds do fill a void in some people’s lives but I wonder if it is not without considerable cost. Studies have shown that online interactions such as through facebook or myspace can actually lead to less participation in social activities and less civic interest. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts. 2012). Facebook and similar sites also lack some of the key elements that make up a community. Membership is one element that is necessary for a community but although many users have a large network of “friends” on the site, some of them they do not have a real connection with and many of them do not know one another. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts. 2012). Influence is another element of community. Users have the ability to “friend” or “unfriend” someone, but most users do not feel that others have a large amount of influence over them. (Schneider, Gruman, Coutts. 2012). The studies did show limited support for fulfillment of needs, it provided a way to socially connect with others. The emotional aspect of community was also somewhat supported.
    Some stated that they received positive feedback and offered congratulation to others
    through posts, while others stated that most interactions were superficial. (Schneider,
    Gruman, Coutts. 2012). The online world may be a way to stay informed about family and
    friends, but remember to set aside some time for FTF (face to face) interactions as well.

    Schneider, F.W., Gruman J.A., Coutts, L.M. (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar