Communication and cooperation

The online environment significantly deepens and expands this aspect. The rule that it is impossible not to communicate then gradually became one of the critical determinants of what cyberspace looks like and the interaction within it.

Marshall McLuhan in 1964 published the (now canonical) text The medium is the message: An inventory of effects. In it, he notices how the environment in which we communicate changes the content of communication and its form. The online environment significantly deepens and expands this aspect. The rule that it is impossible not to communicate then gradually became one of the critical determinants of what cyberspace looks like and the interaction within it.        

First of all, it is necessary to emphasize that we have to abandon the old dualistic concept for the online environment, which we can still see in many authors and social discourse, i.e. the division between here and there. To the world real and virtual. As if one of the - physical domains - existed more than the cybernetic one. 

One more explanatory note needs to be made here. This is nothing new, as people make a particular difference between worlds from ancient cultures. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is possible to see the separation of city and nature. The main character builds the city walls so that evil nature cannot penetrate the city's order and cause chaos in it. Nature here is an unfettered, chaotic, death-bringing environment whereas the city is a human creation, a space for good and life. The Israelites had the opposite narrative - they perceived the cities: from Sodom and Gomorrah to Nineveh - as a place of sin. Nature was where a man was dependent on the Lord, a place of godliness and humility currently experienced and experienced.    

Also, the Middle Ages differentiates between village and town, as if the two forms of human dwelling in the community represent completely different ontological entities. This difference here and there returns in the bourgeois society of the modern age. So though it can be criticized and shown as meaningless or superficial, it does have, at the same time, a long cultural-historical root. The space in which one abides and feels rooted in it, no matter how illusory, incomplete, and highly subjective, is preferred to what is different or unknown.

So if someone talks about the fact that people behave differently on the Internet or that there is something unreal about it, it is necessary to frame such a view with that city-village paradigm with deep religious and cultural roots. Also, the information revolution has not affected all people to the fullest extent. Those who do not have an overview of it or are not a part of it understandably perceive and experience it differently than those who have the experience.

The physical world and cyberspace form one inseparable whole. There is no "here and there" - few have seen their paycheck in the form of banknotes carefully laid out on the table, and yet we believe that we are making money. The funds in the bank account are no less accurate than the ones we carry in our wallets. If we have a conflict with someone during communication via Facebook, we cannot pretend that nothing happened, etc., during a meeting at lunch.  

Online communication and collaboration bring many new and perhaps unexpected moments, both positive and negative. It is associated with significant challenges and opportunities, such as building online communities, study societies, developing civic activism, or the possibility of creating international teams. In addition, there is undoubtedly the question of a demanding multicultural environment, flame wars, and the spread of hoaxes. 

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