For thousands of years, social interactions were built solely on face-to-face communication.
But technology changed this with the invention of ways of broadcasting information (church bells, signal fires, books, bullhorns, radio, television) and ways of communicating person-to-person at a distance (letters, telegrams, phone calls).
The invention of each new method of communication has contributed to a debate stretching back centuries about how technology affects community.
New technologies… Just realize our ancient propensity to connect to other humans, albeit with electrons flowing through cyberspace rather than conversation drifting through air.
While the social networks formed online may be abstract, large, complex, and supermodern, they also reflect universal and fundamental human tendencies that emerged in our prehistoric past when told stories to one another around campfires in the African savanna.
Even astonishing advances in communication technology like the printing press, the telephone, and the internet do not take us away from this past; the draw us closer to it.
One important way in which virtual worlds differ from the real world is our ability to control our own appearance… Our physical appearance also affects how we perceive ourselves and therefore how we act.
Virtual-world interactions can carry over to the real world.
After playing the game with randomly assigned avatars, people who had been assigned attractive avatars showed more confidence in the real world.