It is easy to dismiss this initial view by simply saying that there is so
much that it leaves out that it couldn't possibly be valid. The first
thing to note is that the democratizing aspect of virtual meeting places
is not perfect. It is nice to say that there now exists a situation where
people can gather and discuss ideas without having to worry about being
judged on who they are rather that what they are saying. What, then, can
be said about people who may have brilliant ideas, but less of a grasp on
the English language (for this discussion will be limited to the realm of
English speaking society), for example, people for whom English is a
second language? In cases such as this, it is possible for the speaker to
come across as, well, stupid. I do not, however, think that this
invalidates the entire virtual community in its current form. It merely
points out a very basic problem.
There is also the argument that states that these meetings are not valid
because they are limited to a group of people who are in a certain
socioeconomic group, specifically those who can afford the technology.
This too, while a valid concern. But again, I do not believe that this
takes away from the value of the computer as a forum
for discussion and communication.