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Realizations of Cyberculture

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In modern times, cyberculture is manifested or realized in instances where human beings interactions are mediated by the established computer networks; thus encompassing games, activities, initiatives, pursuits, places, exchanges, places and applications in which cyberspace users engage in (Levy, 2001). The actualization of activities is in such platforms as websites with specialized domains, web portals with specialist software and user-based web protocols (Abbate, 1999).  Today we have blogs, social networks (Face book, Twitter), online and downloadable games that need online or offline participation, chat platforms (instant messaging), Bulletin Board Systems, eCommerce sites, peer-to-peer networks, virtual worlds, UseNet, cybersex platforms and a host of other cyberculture realizations (Abbate, 1999).

To qualify as cyberculture, cyberculture must derive aspects of the traditional culture notions of culture (as the root words suggests). That culture must also be composed of numerous subcultures identified by an ethnographical study (Howard & Jones, 2003). The identified subcultures based on the technologies they use, their capabilities, the diversity of users, the diverse real-world locations alluded to etc (Howard & Jones, 2003).

On the overall however, cyberculture is characterized by a community whose interactions are mediated by information communication technology (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995). It is the product featured by individuals linked from one computer screen to another by a variety of complex networks. Secondly, cyberculture relies heavily on a concept of knowledge and of information exchange (whichever type of knowledge or information individuals wish to exchange). Thirdly, cyberculture depends on its ability to manipulate technological features to a new level or degree that traditional culture forms lacked as its core attraction. Cyberculture does not insist on the individual but on the interaction of individuals, and thus no requirement of personal identity in most interactions (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995).

Cyberculture has no place for face-to-face interaction, and persons are represented by usernames, codes and passwords (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995). Cyberculture transcends traditional limits to relationships such as physical inabilities, geographical borders, social stratification and temporal (time elements) constraints. A distinct characteristic of cyberspace that is perhaps one of the most defining of them all is the fact that cyberculture is a cognitive social culture whose only visible traits is on its impact to the physical culture (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995). It is an abstract concept realized physically not as a culture itself but as an influence on more physical cultures. When individuals visible spend most of their time online, that is not the cyberculture but a physical ramification of the abstract culture in which the individuals are participating. This actually helps explain the next characteristic of cyberculture as a product borne by like-minded people who find or search for a common ground to interact in, online (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995).

Finally, cyberculture is the most dynamic, fragile and perishable form of culture known to man. It changes in minutes, trends take different directions by the minute, technology progresses and new capabilities conceived by the day and so too the culture of the people who use these technology (Aronowitz, Martinsons & Menser, 1995). 

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