In Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society, Arnold Brown begins to describe several ways that the Internet has changed and shaped our lives today. Whether it be socially or physically, the Internet has had an impact on everybody’s lives, whether it be good or bad. From social-networking sites such as Facebook.com to employment opportunities, family trees such as Ancestry.com to dating sites, a difference is being made. We receive the opportunity to meet people we never would have (they could live across the world or be in our hometown and we would never have known) and experience things we never would have (discover early family members). Although the Internet can create wonderful opportunities, it can just as likely cause challenges. Dating sites can be fraud when people lie and you get “catfished”. (For those of you that don’t know, the term ‘catfish’ was created on a MTV series that focused on online dating. If you are catfished, it means you fell in love with someone online that you had never met in person before and when you finally met, you found out they were lying and/or were not who they appeared to be.) That example alone shows how much the Internet, television, and any other technology have on our society today.
Brown states that the Internet is:
…luring us into a virtual metaworld where traditional interactions–living, loving, belonging, and separating, as well as finding customers and keeping them–require new protocols.
Based off of how popular everything is online in today’s society, every type of interaction that was normally and/or originally performed in person will now be brought online. Yes, our generation loses that personal touch to a one-on-one conversation that is face-to-face, but at least we are interacting in some way, if not more often than usual.
Technology can bring people together, but it can also spread them apart.