Friday, September 22, 2006

Effects of Online Media

In media studies, we often argue about the effects of the media. Many advocators say the advent of media technologies help provide benefits of knowledge through abundance of information. Sociailists, on the hand, see it as a greater evil in influencing people, in controlling and seducing the community.

Take the example of online communities like Hi5, Friendster, MySpace and others. Many boast of the benefits in getting to know more friends online, while others feel they have been sucked in to cyber intoxication of impurities, of virtual unholiness. Take a look at the pictures people post at their profile in online communities. These pictures range from cartoons to sexy photos, and some others, inappropriate content. People get led to become another friends because of the photos, and these photos may not even be the persons they are communicating with. These photos are mere representations, or what is know as avatars.

An avatars is, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, "an image which represents you in online games, chat rooms, etc." This means, essentially, a picture which is not you, placed anywhere online in the Internet or the World Wide Web, to represent you.

These days, however, most of the images at online communities are actually avatars, where 'cool' pictures of people who generally borrowed identities from other people's photographs pose as themselves. Maybe the real person ain't handsome or pretty, but to have images that attract another so as to make friends is not exactly what I would have like, but then again, maybe they have something to hide. Avatars or not, I am generally open to accepting people as they are.

So, readers, what do you say? Are online communities good or evil? My opinion is, where there is anything bad, there must always be some good. Without improvements in technology, communication would have been difficult, and fulfilling the task of the Great Commission would have been difficult. As a faith deliverer and writer, I am now able to
reach the world, just by merely writing or blogging on the Net.