Image created by Alicja Pawluczuk using Canva

From online support groups to augmented reality digital gaming spaces – many young people participate in and contribute to different digital communities and environments. 

A digital community is a community whose members interact with each other via digital technologies and/or the Internet. Members of the community usually share common interests or work towards the same goal. Examples of such communities might include online forums, social media groups, gaming communities, activist forums, and so on. Such communities are often governed by an official or unofficial code of conduct (e.g., not using certain words, or following a certain type of netiquette).

Digital environments refer to the spaces where digital technologies are present or utilised to facilitate activities such as communication, play, project management, etc. According to IGI Global, there are three key types of digital environments:

  1. A virtual or cyber-generated environment that is accessed or created through the use of one or more digital devices such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  2. Integrated environments where digital tools and devices are used to facilitate communication and collaboration.
  3. All information environments are mediated via the Internet. In particular, those environments facilitate the discovery of and search for information, people, and resources. 

Why are digital communities and environments worthy of our attention? 

Digital technologies continue to affect the way we communicate and interact with one another. It shapes us, our friendships, and our education and working environments. New forms of participation and gathering such as these come with a set of new challenges and opportunities.  We explore some of the latest updates related to the different types of digital communities and the ways you or your community can use digital technologies to make positive things happen. Additional resources can be found in our Resource Pool.


Photo of Dr Alicja Pawluczuk
Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Dr Alicja Pawluczuk is an ICTD Research Fellow at the United Nations University, and a Strategic Consultant on defining Digital Transformation at SALTO PI. Alicja’s research and community education practice focuses on digital youth work, youth digital inclusion, and gender digital inclusion.