When I was in elementary school my community was a small circle of the smart, but not so nerdy (in our minds), kids.
When I was in high school my community on the outside appeared to be my choir. In reality MY community only consisted of a handful of people.
When I was in college my community was a group of great girlfriends and every-sleep-deprived design major in my graduating bunch.
When I entered the work force, I missed community. I sat in a corner (literally), lonely in a tiny windowless room with 2 other people.
I stumbled across a new community through a personal development and leadership training. In typical fashion, I stepped up to be a leader in that community. For several years I spent every free moment nurturing that community in one way or another.
Later, as my career really took off I found community at work and in my new found industry. I thrived on learning and teaching everything new and interesting to empower and grow that community. I made a name for myself there.
From there, I joined and helped lead a community about community. The whole idea for this particular community was, and is, to bring people together.
A job, and an industry change, resulted in a new community, with new members and new interests. Fun, research, creativity and flexibility were all found in this community.
For the first time, I joined another community while still holding on to the previous. What lessons could I carry over. How could I bring a fresh set of eyes to the existing community I was joining. With a few overlaps comes comparison. Why is this one that way and the other this way?
Through all of this, my circle of human relationships have grown. Some through time, and others through common interest. Many of these human relationships don’t intertwine. I’ve been beginning to ask myself, what happens when you take away the community that was the common element. When you leave a job, do you continue relationships with coworkers? If you join a new community that is in opposition to a previous one, what then? Who stays around? How much of this is dependant upon a mutual agreement rather than just convenience.
My job is to create community. Create togetherness about a cause, a brand, a product, and even food. A chicken vs egg scenario I continually debate is: do I have so much community in my personal life because I’m a natural builder of communities and that’s why/how I got my job OR does my career path encourage this together atmosphere I’ve created with my “personal” life?
In the past month I’ve:
- unsubscribed from about 40% of the blogs I was reading (or skimming) on a regular basis
- unfollowed about 30% of my Twitter connections
- unsubscribed from 85% of the email lists I was receiving
- disconnected (“unliked”) my connected with over 200 brands on Facebook
- unfriended about 30% of my Facebook friends
- removed all work email accounts from my personal iPhone
- reduced the number of apps on my iPhone about 50%
So what do all these numbers and timeline mean? Best I can explain: as someone who longs for “Community” I’m starting a process to keep myself from emersing in every community just because I was invited.
Lowering the lights and kicking a few stragglers out of the party brings new perspective in a crowded room know as “the Internet”.
disclaimer: as part of my journey I’m vowing more of *me* because of the lowered levels of input. So at moments like this I’m going to explore and share and not hold on to it “til the right time”. I have so many unpolished blog posts. This was written via an iDevice during insomnia open-house hours. Spelling and grammar will likely reflect this.
-Sent from iCommunicater Device Thingy-