The internet and community

Lately I’ve been noticing more and more organizations that are bringing it back to basics and I love it. Seeing a shift in business more towards community is really an interesting phenomenon and indicative, I think, of how people are really feeling. I would like to think that more and more people are realizing that we aren’t all islands floating in the world alone and that we need each other and our communities to enrich our lives.

I’d like to think that this how my parents grew up and I got to experience this a little before the internet come along and added a new wall to break through. But now that we’ve finally figured out the internet, more or less, we’re seeing ways to use it to supplement this need for community, to connect with the people around us that we may not have before.

I read an article recently about dinner co-ops; where people who live near each other take turns cooking for one another. And shortly after I heard about a company out of LA, NeighborGoods, that helps people put the stuff that sits and gathers dust in their garage to use locally. A similar idea is Freecycle where people post they have stuff they don’t want and someone nearby goes and picks it up. Even Meetup.com is using the internet to bring people together in real life.

So in a way, once we figured out how to use it, the internet is helping us more than ever create that community we’re clearly still looking for. But it’s a fine line, getting people out from behind the screen and in front of each other.

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