Cybercultures-real community or a platform for bullies?

Cybercultures is a relatively new term of late. Our general understanding of it as being an organization or community on-line. This can easily be broken down into the two separate words to allow a clearer understanding. Take the first word, culture, as in, the shared beliefs, values, attitudes, language, practices etc of a specific institution, organisation, community. The word ‘cyber’ tends to be stuck in front of anything that happens on line today, referring to all activity happening in cyberspace. Examples include cyber-feminism, cyber-war and cyber- bullying.

Speaking of the latter, cyber-bullying seems to contradict the premise of cyber-culture. We see it more and more everyday, this awful trend that has been given the name ‘trolling’. You can’t watch an innocent YouTube clip or read an on-line article without some negativity and nastiness being displayed. Usually these comments are shielded by the anonymity of an ambiguous username. It begs the question, when did we all get so cruel? Why is that our insecurities result in us abusing someone from the safety of a screen that we probably wouldn’t even recognise on the street in real life?

If we are meant to part of an on-line culture, when did we start tearing each-other apart? It has come to a stage where businesses that have a a social media platform now thrive on this communication, with radio stations posing controversial questions, simply to stir peoples emotions..and everyone falls for it! There is even websites offering tips on how to battle on-line arguments now. With technology and the internet developing rapidly, we are likely to get furthermore swallowed up in this virtual world, with many of us in oblivion in the real one as it is. Is it so much to ask, after all the wars and violence, that on-line, where privacy seems to be a thing of the past, that we could at least try to be nice to one another?

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