Overview: The word “community” is derived from the Old French communité which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, “with/together” + munus, “gift”), a broad term for fellowship or organized society. A Community is a group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion…
In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.Source: Wikipedia
Strangely enough, building a community has become today’s big online challenge. But we tend to forget that We, human beings, are nothing but social animals that flock together and use our unique intelligence to rule over the foodchain and stay ontop of Earth’s global eco-system. This has been thus since the beginning of times and is inscribed in our genes, in our DNA.
The use of technology has changed our social behaviour and rules guiding the ways to interact in the real world. We find ourselves serving technology instead of having technology helping us to enhance our social interaction in the real world. We are only helping technology to get more awesome everyday, while we are turning out to be unrelated individuals on the streets. Strangely, we are getting closer virtually but moving further apart in real life.
I know that true story where a brother and a sister staying in the same house, would talk only via chat-boxes and status updates (not even via a Skype call). They are in their contiguous rooms but would find it silly to move outside their box to meet and do things together but they would play poker, every night on the same virtual table, with virtual groups of common friends from a virtual world.
As some may say:
The world, as we knew it 10 years ago, will no more be the same !
That’s not bad, but still…
How much true can that be? Is it to say that we can no more benefit from the feel-good factor that emanates from a simple real-life offline dialogue with our neighbour, our friend, with the shopkeeper or the mailman? Does that mean to say that we are irreversibly bound to use only Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to initiate a simple chat? To my POV, we should get back to basics!
Here are my 21 personal tips if one wants to build a community… a real one… a human one, with real human values that make us so unique as compared to the other species of our common animal reign.
- Turn off your screens, leave the house for some minute and walk in the alley and meet the neighbours.
- Greet people, engage and enchant them. Generating a smile is one our main differences with the other species.
- Walk head up, your pride of the environment you live in is contagious.
- Get an out flower-pot at least or a little garden, embellish your immediate environment
- Use the local library, read and share.
- Give to your local shopkeeper the value he deserves as a community facilitator, buy with him.
- Give to the mailman, the meter-reader the value they deserves, talk to them.
- Use public parks, meet people in open public spaces, share views on social topics.
- Do some sports, any one, health matters! Invite others to do the same
- Honor the elders by showing that you really care. Help them carry their bags, cross the street and talk with them.
- Get the youngsters to do work for some dough. Washing the panes, cleaning the yard… make them feel proud about a well done job.
- Initiate a tradition, try creating a new event, a new ritual that would be unique and fun.
- Put up entertaining meetings where you would invite to dance, sing and share funny stories around a bring-n-share.
- Ask for help when needed and share your skills for free whenever you can.
- Do not show your wealth ostentatiously.
- Do not react to anger.
- Help to mediate conflicts before calling the Police.
- Think of a small barter system with your immediate environment.
- Make ecology a focal point of discussion.
- Take your time… You can find some if you really want to.
- Keep smiling, even when there are no cameras.
Again… strangely enough, except from the first tip all the 20 others are recommended and well adapted when interacting online. If we can do that on-screen, why can’t we just do the same thing in real-life? Are we ashamed of what we became? Are we afraid of the others, at such a point that we need to hide behind our screens? Have we become so egocentric that our self-esteem, as a community member, has gone so low that we find ourselves useless onland?
We should go back to basics indeed and recover all the wealth of the human culture.
- Evolution and Drivers of Virtual Communities (ed24lemons.wordpress.com)
- Man is a Social Animal (vugram.wordpress.com)
- Facebook and Friendships (bottledworder.wordpress.com)
- Evolutionary Landscape… (raquelat.wordpress.com)
- Introducing the aPLaNet project! (joedale.typepad.com)