Internet as Surrogate Community

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Communication and Industrialization

Industrialization has altered communication between the following people:

  1. Generations - parents and offspring, grandparents and grandchildren.

There is an absence of time and generational relationships between parents and children. This negates the time involved that allows one to sit down with one's kids and tell them how things work, how to fix a vehicle, how to cook a meal, how to fix a lawnmower, and so on.

  1. Culture groups and traditional, geographically-bound communities. Instead they go to other places for information.

one's community is no longer geographically based. Instead of growing up in a small town where neighbors could rely on each other for help, one often does not know one's next door neighbor, and rarely could rely on them in a pinch. In cities, those with different backgrounds, traditions and needs often live side by side

  1. Traditional religious groups and communities.

As religious participation is declining for some groups in some areas, individuals lack access to traditional advisors such as priests, pastors and rabbis. While some may turn to Eastern traditions for enlightenment, many don't have connectivity to a respected, grounded community member with a historical knowledge (gleaned from religious texts) of how relationships, conflicts, and other human negotiations work.

  1. A trusted family doctor or medical consultant.

Being able to quickly call the town doctor for advice is a luxury reserved only for the wealthiest in urban cities. Many people go to whatever doctor is closest to them, or use the web to find one. There is often no history with the doctor prior to the search. Some can ask family or friends for a recommendation, but the result may be a doctor in one's own hometown, as many families spread out across the country or world and do not stay in the same point of origin. Friends may not have the same physical ailments and may not be able to give a concise recommendation, making the Internet one of the only geographically neurtral places with which to find people who have asked similar questions and answers.

In the absence of these connections, individuals increasingly turn to the web to ask unanswered questions.