CONCEPTS

What is virtual communication?

We explain what virtual communication is and some examples of this communication. Its classification, characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.

  1. What is virtual communication?

Virtual communication is a type of communication that emerged from the technological advances of the late twentieth century . It consists of the use of digital tools that serve as a channel for sending a message.

The virtual term refers to the absence of a material support for sending a message such  as, for example, a letter. It can also refer to the lack of physical proximity between senders and receivers.

  1. Examples of virtual communication

Virtual Communication - Wikipedia
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that the users themselves are doing and correcting.

There are several ways to establish virtual communications. Here are some examples:

  • Email . It involves sending and receiving messages through a computer network . It has a logic very similar to that of traditional mail, with the advantage that it is immediate, often free and simultaneous. That is, you can send the same message to several people  at the same time .
  • Wikis These are those platforms in which their content is done collaboratively as a result of teamwork . The most common example is Wikipedia, an encyclopedia that the users themselves are making and correcting, so that it can be consulted by any navigator.
  • Blogs  It is another very common example in virtual communications. Here, its founder captures content and its readers can use it and comment on it. The key to a blog is that the information responds to the interests of its creator and is updated periodically.
  1. Types of virtual communication

Virtual Communication - videoconference
A videoconference allows communication with people in different places.

Within the virtual communication there is a phenomenon that has to do with the formation of virtual communities . Among them, you can identify different types such as:

  • Discussion forums  They are open spaces for the discussion of specific topics, so that common interest groups interact by exchanging ideas, theories and opinions.
  • Social networks.  They are  structures formed on the Internet by people or organizations that connect based on common interests or values. Through them, relationships between individuals or companies are created  quickly, without hierarchy or physical limits.
  • Videoconferences. They are communications that are established through a video, in a bidirectional and simultaneous way. They are tools widely used to make meetings between people who are in different places.
  • BBS  Bulletin Board System is a software that was used to establish networks between computers . In this way, users could access information that the members of that network dumped.
  1. Characteristics of virtual communication

Virtual communication - blog
Virtual communication promotes the democratization of information.

Virtual communication and the communities that conform around them are characterized by the following features:

  • Links are established synchronously and acronically. This means that it can be a real-time or deferred communication.
  • It allows to establish links with people of the most varied origins but who have a common interest.
  • The exchange of data and information can include the most varied formats: text , video, image, sound , photography , etc.
  • The exchange of data and information can be bidirectional or multidirectional, depending on the cases.
  • Relationships between members of the virtual community tend towards horizontality.
  • Teamwork and collaboration is produced (and encouraged).
  • Your costs are very low.
  • It facilitates learning and promotes the democratization of information.
  • It promotes the active attitude of the actors.
  1. Advantages and disadvantages of virtual communication

Virtual communication - social networks
Thanks to virtual communication, face-to-face links are lost.

There are pros and cons around virtual communication and everything that is generated around it. That is why, then, a list is made with advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Advantage:

  • It allows people to know and link each other to people who have the same concerns and interests , beyond physical distances.
  • It facilitates access to information linked to the most varied topics.
  • It promotes study, links, exchanges, collaborative work and even the purchase and sale of goods and services .
  • It allows access not only to information on the most varied topics, but also to the most diverse views on those topics. Break the biases.
  • It facilitates and encourages feedback as well as updating the contents.
  • Leave aside the barriers that have to do not only with time and space, but also those related to social origin, gender, religion , age.

Disadvantages:

  • Face to face links are lost.
  • Anonymity generates impunity , so many times virtual communities lend themselves to violence.
  • Overexposure is generated so that, often, intimacy is reduced to the minimum expression.
  • There are cases in which private information from third parties is disseminated or privacy is violated to the point that crimes are recorded .
  • The personality of third parties can be supplanted for defamation.

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