From a cultural standpoint, there are many communities local and global. One person will be part of many whether willing or not. By sheer statistics, each person will be part of distinct communities and those communities will shape her/his life as she/he shapes that community. Communities exist for every aspect of our lives:
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace … these are all online communities that have evolved from a need for community in the online arena. These are used to promote people and services and many people spend part of their day in these communities making connections. How many of these do you belong to? My guess is more than one.
Work: If one has a job, then one has a work community. In my case, my work community is my primary interaction these days. Since I graduated high school wayyyy back in 1987, my personal contacts seem to have frittered to few and far between. I would like to develop more “in real life” (as opposed to online) friendships but with all my blogging, my family hours and? and time spent at work, my work community is really my main outlet to cultivate friendships. I hope this will change if not in my 40’s (which start June 9th, 2009) then maybe closer to retirement age when my kids are grown.
Marriage: Though this is a community of only 2, it is a community nonetheless. Nurturing our marriage and spending quality time with each other is a goal for my marriage community.
Niche Communities and forums:see deals all the time for travel to Vegas with a group. Before he died, my gradfather used to take senior buses out there and they got amazing deals on things. A retired colleague of mine is also a veteran and he was able to get an amazing deal on two VW beetles through a veteran’s “fleet” sale.
These are just a few examples of communities and how people benefit finacially from them. There are also instrinsic, non-monetary benefits to belonging to a community but I’ll save those for another post. It can feel like we are ants marching to a cliff sometimes as we go through life. Community helps etherize that feeling. Whether you join one or start one, I hope this post has made you more aware of the significance of community. If nothing else, joining a community nowadays can qualify you for some great deals, right?