Reading Rheingold’s article was an interesting way to see another persons perspective. However, I still do not look at a virtual community as a “real” community, I think I’d go with the description of it being an illusion of a real community. It appears realistic, but does not give you all that a real community has to offer. Like many above have noted, meeting people online appears easier and seems to have less judgment. I think it is just as easy to judge. In fact, I think anyone who has a social media account does it anytime they are online. If it’s Facebook, you judge every time you read someones posts or look at their picture. You like what you deem to be good and acceptable and make comments based on your own judgment whether you actually post them or just say them to yourself as you look through the very personal information that is that users privacy. And as far as privacy goes, each individual has the power to decide who they want to see their personal thoughts and images in the first place. I think it begins with making the decision to open the various accounts. By doing so, you are willingly agreeing to give up some privacy. Then the more people you add and introduce into your various profiles, again, the more privacy you are willingly agreeing to give up. And because of all of this, you have more “friends” online than you associate with in your daily face-to-face lives, leaving you open to more scrutiny and judgment than you would in your real life community. Real life communities are as big as you want them to be and can easily be changed. Virtual communities can grow exponentially and once they’ve been made they are not as easy /simple to change. Sure you can follow/un-follow or add/delete as you please, but regardless, whatever information you’ve put out there, is officially out there. This is not to say virtual communities are bad by any means, it is just to say that one cannot live fully submersed in one.