Book: Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age. Mary Chayko. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2002
" Mary Chayko opens the fifth chapter of Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age with a question from Emile Durkheim that ostensibly serves as the book's query: "What are the bonds which unite men with one another?" Although her immediate response is that "it remains a difficult question to answer satisfactorily," her proposed answers would indeed satisfy even readers skeptical of technology-based relationships (101). Initially being such a critic myself, I approached Chayko's text fearing a celebration of online romances and cyber gaming addicts; thankfully, Chayko instead offers the concept of "sociomental bonds-bonds between people who cannot or do not meet face-to-face" (2). She examines these "sociomental connections" and "communities of the mind" through compelling arguments, theoretical frameworks, qualitative research, and even non-technological examples to illustrate that everyone of us has relationships transcending the boundaries of time and space, with or without technological mediums. Throughout the work, Chayko routinely convinced this skeptic not to judge cyber-relationships as less "real," since all relationships ultimately do not reside in physical space, but in the mind."