In a world saturated by technology, society has never been so connected. Advancements and new technologic platforms have given individuals an array of opportunities to express themselves and grow, allowing them to live both in the real world and the hidden online and virtual realms of the digital one.
Elizabeth Ellis, 19, is just one of the three billion Internet users who surf the Internet each day and can’t imagine life without it. Through establishing herself on the social media site Tumblr, Elizabeth has been able to connect with other users from all around the world, partaking in events and activism campaigns which would have been impossible to join had she not had access to the Internet. Elizabeth believes “the internet is kind of this hidden realm. We all know it is there, but I don’t think we truly understand the extent of its abilities and potentials.”
Elizabeth explains how the Internet has opened up the opportunity for individuals to join a new type of community; a community which may be considered hidden from that of contemporary societies. “I have so many friends from all over the world. I may not have met them in person, but we are still able to interact and develop relationships through the means of the Internet and technology”, Elizabeth explains.
Youtuber and self-confessed gamer, Samuel Hodges, 22, also agrees that the Internet has opened up many doors for him and his passion for video games. “It’s a really cool thing to be able to connect with people online who share the same interests in gaming that I have. Many of the people I know aren’t gamers, so I love the fact that I am still able to connect with like minded people, regardless of where they are in the world”. Samuel continually seeks refuge from the fast paced nature of the real world by carrying around his Nintendo DS, believing it to be a great escape and a way to delve into another kind of world.
The rise of technologies, most significantly the Internet, continues to redefine traditional society and its inhabitants. In years to come, who knows where these virtual realities will lead us and what kind of doors will be opened for both the real life realities and the hidden online ones alike.