Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Gift Giving with Online Friendships. (Feb. 14th)

Posted by vene131 on February 22, 2017

When reading this section of the chapter, I hooked on to the part where it talks about The Virtual Community and the gift giving economy involved with online relationships. The author of this book argues that spreading someone’s knowledge and time is the most common form of currency among online communities, and I do agree with this notion. However, I think it’s important to recall other forms of gift giving that are done online. If no one has noticed by now I am one of those Tumblr people who has been on Tumblr waaaay too long (like six years or something). This means I have a lot of internet friends I met on there. A popular form of gift giving that people online use are things that are intangible like fanfictions, fanart, or song covers/actually brand new songs. Sometimes online friends just add one another on to their taglist as a sort of recognition that they are friends. It is all about the fact that you took time out of our day to make something for someone that cannot be bought so it does not really have a price on it. And I think it is important to note that gift giving this way is totally priceless in the way that it is literally free,  but also because it is something only that person could make for you.

I think the fact that most gifts are intangible in this community is a real testament to how we shape this gift giving culture. Personally, I have had fanfictions and moodboards written/made for me as gifts by internet friends before, and I find them to be the best sort of gifts I am given because it is something that costs the person their time and creativity.  



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