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Creating Identities Through Digital Communities

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,617 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,276 Views

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The internet has gained great popularity over the last few years. Of all the active internet users in United States, social networking has grown by 93% since 2006 (SocNets Grow 93% since 2006, 2009). The large proportion of internet users who visit social networking sites, such as Facebook, Second Life and MySpace shows that social networking has become the internet's next big thing. The popularity of social network sites proves that people benefit through digital communities, causing them to believe in, trust and continue visiting the sites. Through digital communities, people are able to do many things which they are unable to do in real life, allowing them to build on a new identity in the virtual world through different means of socialization. In digital communities, there are lesser restrictions and more freedom for users physically, which can help to save a lot of time and increase their satisfaction, in the process creating an identity. Having an identity of their own is essential as it allows them to stand out from the rest in order to be recognized and known to others. Hence, digital communities are rather strong in creating the identities of people today as they can gain satisfaction and confidence in the process of socialization.

In this essay, two articles are used to analyze the issue of people creating identities through digital communities. The first would be "Alternate Universe" by Jessica Bennett and Malcolm Beith, which seeks to illustrate that social network sites, like Second Life, is a powerful tool for socializing (Para. 6) and everyone would be able to create a unique identity through different ways of social interactions (Bennett & Beith, 2007). The next would be "Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace" by Danah Boyd, which discusses how youth today turn to digital communities for socialization. He uses another online social network site, MySpace to further explain his points (Boyd, "Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why Youth Heart MySpace.", 2006).

In today's society, the increasing trend of online social networking shows the usefulness of digital communities in creating identities. Digital communities refer to the online virtual sites and groups which people form or go to for different reasons. Most people do so in hope for identity production, that is to create a new self or character, through social networking sites. Through identity production, people would be able to create a special and unique virtual identity of their own, to be recognized or known to others. In some way or another, they would also be able to create their own social network, which is to build relationships with people through online means, which would widen their social circle in life.

The increasing trend of people using social networking sites, such as Second Life and MySpace, is highly visible from how fast they are able to adopt those

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