At this point in the 21st century, it’s kind of impossible to talk about community-building without, at some point, talking about the internet. The way we meet people, establish connections, maintain our relationships and fight for what we believe in has been radically transformed by the web—and it’s still transforming.
But often, when we’re talking about these changes, the focus is either on pure enthusiasm about the possibilities presented by the limitlessness of the web, or anxiety about online connections replacing physical ones.
With this episode of SOTRU, we tell stories of the internet’s impact on community-building in human terms, on the messy level of people’s daily existence, where its effects are rarely solely positive or negative. In each of these stories, we look at a different way the internet has slipped into our interactions with one another, from wholesale social transformations facilitated by the web, to individual lives reconfigured, to more minor everyday happenings.This is an hour of exploring how the “virtual” has turned into the “real” in people’s lives.