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Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Virtual and Real Communities. Unlike the traditional methods of learning, distance learning took a different form of teaching that allowed people in different locations around the world to learn in real time and without many barriers in their way. Other areas of life picked up this model of communicating over the World Wide Web to increase the communication rates around the world (Doheny-Farina, 1998). This saw to the birth of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus that virtually brought people from many locations around the world into a community with many similarities to a real and geographically located one. This paper shall concern itself with the comparing and contrasting of these two types of communities. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of community shall be discussed and expounded upon to give a true picture of each type of community. The first part of this paper shall argue in the favor of online communities and the benefits they bring to the human community. First of all, the term ‘virtual community’ is a direct derivation of a 1993 book by the same title written by Howard Rheingold. Rheingold is one of the most known proponents of virtual communities and is even dubbed the first citizen of the internet (Gauntlett, 2008). He points out several benefits he attributes to virtual communities found solely on the internet.