What Happened to Community?
I belong to over a dozen small private Facebook groups. I am on several Twitter lists. I’d talk about Google Plus circles if that were relevant anymore too. I won’t even downplay real life groups. I’m a fairly social person and feel like I belong in several groups of friends– from my creative accountability group, to the group that traveled across the country together or a group of old coworkers who moved from LA to NY within the last 2 years.
These groups are a way to feel like I belong somewhere, but more than that, they’re a group of people that has an excuse to have fun together and fill a date in the calendar. Sure, that’s important.
But the thing that we’re missing is community. Like, real, back-in-the-day, pre-internet, pre-television community. I’m talking about the kind of community where 100 people know your name and you know theirs and you know their business and they’re in yours. The emotional support that comes from that, where people know how to provide you with comfort and encouragement after a breakup, before a job interview, or during pregnancy. A network of people who share their network with you. Community is a group of people that selflessly give and blindly share because you’re extended family to them. That doesn’t exist.
Millenials (ugh, I hate that I used that word) are shying away from religion because it’s expensive, they believe it’s not relevant to their daily life, and because they want to be free thinkers and not just do what their parents did or are asking them to do. And with that departure comes a lack of in-person, community as family, leadership, support and guidance with a dose of purpose.
You can see it with the explosion of EDM culture and music festivals. It’s one expression of a group of people coming together to share an experience, connect on an idea and issue and feel a part of something ritualistic, meaningful, relevant and fun. There’s a void right now in our world and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to create community again.
If you’d like to be a part of something meaningful and supportive, email me. I’m not sure what I’m building, if anything, but there’s something to be built.