Culture on the internet exists much like it does in the physical world. Portrayals of culture manifest in sights, sounds, behaviors, norms, expectations, and changing fads. In the American Teen Engagement with Myspace and Facebook article, the notion of culture is looked at as an intangible force that is shown through online acts of either using Myspace or Facebook. In 2005 I was a freshman in a community college, all my friends who went to traditional universities were excited about using Facebook because it was exclusive to them and helped the social networking of parties and college life. When community colleges were let in I finally felt like part of the traditional college culture. This was a short-lived experience because soon after community colleges were allowed in, everyone was allowed in. Myspace had already died out as a culture for me because my friends were college age and had no use for it except to promote their bands. I was let into another newer more exciting culture, and then the thrill of that culture also died out. It didn’t feel like the fall of Rome to me, but I realized how fluid online culture was and how popularity was great influence of how long an online culture would last. To me the switching of culture had little to do with racial issues; but I did see a divide with an age gap. I think some people use words like “ghetto” to mean unpopular and don’t realize there are different connotations to words like this. It the same thing when people use words like “gay” or “dumb”. These words actually have very little to do with what they are meant to describe but may been made synonymous through popular culture. I think asking teenagers to define culture was a bit risky to base scholarly studies on but I do see the point the author was trying to make.

Image Image borrowed from www.flickr.com 

The other two articles show the depth which culture reflects and imitates the physical world in video games. Of course as these worlds are modeled after the physical world so methods of displaying culture will be similar to the physical world. The plague breakout showed a negative side of culture. It reminds me of trolls and other negative forces that occur online which makes me feel like people can be bad online without repercussions. It’s like bullying except online the bully doesn’t have to watch the kid whose lunch money they stole sit though lunch without anything to eat. There is no physical manifestation of the effects of their bullying. Other rules that are constructed online have followers and of course those who disobey the rules. Sometimes I feel like the internet really just needs a Mom and Dad to step in and break up the kids and say “Follow the rules… or else!” some games have equivalents to “time out” where you get kicked off for suspected cheating or other rule breaking but there are always ways around it and no one makes you feel bad for breaking the rules.

Image Image borrowed from www.flickr.com

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