Topic 9: Web Fame

The Internet has not been utilized by only the general public. The Internet has also become the birthplace of many figures who have become known as “Internet celebrities”. By utilizing the Internets mass publicity capabilities, otherwise ordinary people have been able to become extremely popular online by doing a variety of things. These can include commentary gaming, vlogging, creating a web show, doing trending activities, discussing trending topics, etc. By gaining popularity online, these people become what is known as “Internet famous” and some even receive an income due to their online activities being so popular.

Celebrities have existed much longer than the Internet has. However, with the integration of the Internet into modern society, the publicity of celebrities has become much more intense. Also, it has arguably become easier just to become a celebrity. Many modern celebrities first gained publicity through the Internet, and almost all modern celebrities, web-borne or otherwise, have some sort of social network account. How do you think the Internet has affected the celebrity world?



Topic 8: Trolling/Cyberbullying

Few people will deny that the Internet represents maximum potential with maximum convenience. With just the touch of a button, this technological marvel gives people the opportunity to demonstrate their full productive potential. Unfortunately, despite all the productivity that the Internet allows, and encourages, people to achieve, the Internet is not without its generous share of ne’er-do-wells. Rather than using the Internet for constructive and productive purposes, these individuals take to the Internet with more destructive and malicious intentions. This phenomenon has been given the rather appropriate names of “trolling” and “cyberbullying”.

While trolling and cyberbullying share many characteristics, there are some differences that set the two apart. Trolling refers to any online behavior that is meant to intentionally anger or frustrate someone else. The act of trolling is usually indiscriminate; the instigator simply wants to provoke as many people as possible into reacting angrily. This is not the case with cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is a form of online harassment carried out against a single individual in a deliberately hostile manner, with definitively malicious intentions. Both of these acts are considered a form of bullying and can have lasting negative effects on their victims. In recent years, people have become more aware of the issues caused by trolling and cyberbullying and are beginning to take preventative action. How do you think trolling/cyberbullying affects online communication?


Topic 7: Privacy vs Publicity

Presently, we live in a time that is often referred to as “the Information Era”. This title serves as a testament to our societies’ ever expanding desire and ability to receive information and stay well-informed about the world, the people in it, and the events that occur in it. As we previously discussed, the Internet excels in providing the latest information about anything one could want to know about. However, besides providing information, the Internet also possess the more controversial function of storing information.

The balance of publicity and privacy has been a longstanding issue amongst the users of the Internet. With online communication mediums and methods, like social networks, gaming communities, etc., in order to access and use these online formats, it is commonly required to set up an account first. The basic format of this process is, for the most part, the same for all online accounts, though the details can vary. Most accounts and profiles require people to input information such as their age, email address, gender, and current residential area. The majority of Internet users might not object to providing this personal information, but there are some websites that require even more specific and personal information, and this can cause controversy. For what reasons should a website require certain personal information? For what reasons should someone not have to reveal certain personal information?


Topic 6: Online Gaming

Every method and format of communication online possesses some sort of specialty that makes it unique. When it comes to online gaming, the feature that makes this format of online communication unique is the ability and option for live communication. Other formats of online communication follow the routine of strictly segmented communication. That is to say, one person sends some type of message to another, and they respond upon receiving the message and reviewing the contents within. On the other hand, online gaming provides an opportunity for Internet users to engage in the much more interactive and immediate live communication.

Unlike formats like social networks and email, online gaming is a highly social environment that allows, not only two, but groups of several people to communicate through text and/or audio. For example, Xbox Live is one provider of live communication for online gamers. On Xbox Live, gamers in the same region that are participating in the same game can not only send text messages, but also directly talk to each other thanks to the system’s compatibility with audio devices like microphones. This enhancement of communication between gamers can provide a better experience and sense of teamwork between players. How do you think the ability to live communicate influences online communication?