Impact of community building on romance?

An interesting trend is taking place in the Web 2.0 world and it has an impact on romance. This is community building. Back in 2003, trendwatching.com coined the term nethoods to describe an emerging trend: “neighborhoods, streets and even apartment buildings are starting to get their own internet and intranet sites: not just to promote the many qualities they have to offer their (prospective) inhabitants, but also to provide communal interaction and localized services.” Springwise has pointed out  a new company lifeat.com.  “LifeAt is a private social network for your building which allows you, the resident, to actively contribute and improve upon your residential experience.” This is just another example of community building that is taking place on the Internet. As more and more of these communities develop they will enhance some real life communities or compete with some real life communities for time and resources.
So what does this have to do with romance? Well I am finding that men and women are joining specific communities. They join based on a number of reasons, which is an interesting study in itself.  However, because of their interactions within these Internet communities they are developing romantic relationships.
This is not really a new thing. This was observed in chat rooms years ago. What is new is that some of these new communities are functional communities with rules, culture, morals, etc. The romantic relationships that develop are not just simple one on one relationships anymore. The romantic relationships now take place within the dynamic of the community. One has to think about the reactions of others to ones romantic relationships. Can it be kept private from the community? What will others in the community say about this romance? There can also be impacts when a romantic relationship ends. Will there be consequences within the community? Yes, life on the Internet has gotten a lot more complicated.
 

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