instructor Course 24 June 2012 Internet vs. Face-To-Face Social Relationships Advancements in technology and change of people’s lifestyles has made cyberspace to become a significant frontier for new relationships and friendship. In a world filled with technology, people are finding it interesting to have online friends in spite of having friends in the real world…
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This paper evaluates cyberspace relationships as compared to face-to-face relationships. The internet has created an opportunity for people to share their ideas and feelings through cyber friendship. Through cyber communication platforms, people have been able to create colleagues, lovers, friends, and enemy. The freedom of expression and ability to create an ideal image is the main element that distinguishes cyberspace friendship from real friendship. Unlike face-to-face relationships, the cyberspace enables people to choose their image, interests and appearance. For instance, a person can exist as a woman on Facebook while been a man in the real world. In addition, people have the ability to exist as anonymous or ghost user. This has enabled people to overcome the element of fear and shyness that limits face-to-face relationships and friendships. On the other hand, face-to-face relationships are subject to emotions such as anger, happiness, and frustrations. This has made online friendships to become a significant element of socialization. Social Medias such as Facebook, twitter, and MySpace have made globalization a reality. The anticipated global village is now becoming a reality as more people sign up or create accounts with the social networking sites. Social networks have made communication across the globe become a reality. It is now possible for a person living in the United States to create and maintain friendship with a Peron living in China or Japan. This indicates that online friendship is not restricted by geographical factors. In addition, online friendship is not subject to economical and political factors that influence face-to-face communication (Suler web). Through online friendship, it is possible to have friends who have different economical or political background. For instance, people living in the socialist republic of South Korea can establish online relationships with their counterparts in North Korea despite the two countries having different ideologies and social restrictions. This indicates the ability of virtual friendship to conquer limitations that affect real relationships. Face to face, relationships are considered superior to virtual relationships due to existence physical contacts. It is evident that people in the real world have the ability to meet and share personal experiences. On the other hand, online friends can only have a conversation and share their pictures. Although it possible to hold a video conference where people can present their faces to each other, real friendships cannot be compared to virtual friend ships. Relationships and friendships are more than communication, as people need to share their emotions and feelings. Online friendship enjoys an element of artificial intelligence that cannot be incorporated in real relationships. Social forums such as blogs have the ability to attract people who have common interests such as politics, sports, business, and technology. It is difficult or impossible to create a forum for people who share similar interests through face-to-face communication. This aspect has encouraged developments and inventions in the different fields. The recent political revolutions in North Africa and Middle East can be attributed to the ability of online communities to rally people with common interest. Without these
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