Welcome to Quest for a Meaningful Life on the road here in Quebec City where I’ll be spending the winter, trying out this whole work from anywhere experience.
Now that the lockdown of so much of organic real life has led to this opening up of working online, this idea of doing business through a screen, and in fact, doing almost everything through a screen.
And this has led me to think about what it means to have community.
Now hopefully, we all have some friends and family, and it’s important to have some people around us.
But what about having a larger community?
They don’t all have to be people that we are friends with, even people that we like, even.
But it seems like there is value in having some kind of a community.
Having people around us other than some kind of anonymous collection of people that we have no interaction with.
Now of course, growing up in a city, I’m used to being anonymous.
Ever since there are big cities of thousands, millions of people, certainly that can’t really be a true community, because you can’t actually know any of them or really even interact with thousands and thousands of people.
So we’re used to this kind of anonymous feeling living in a big city.
But now it’s become even more so, as the world’s become even more urbanized, and the cities are getting bigger, more people living in the cities.
And beyond that, this kind of global city of the internet, where we’ve all been gradually moving more and more into.
It does feel like being part of one giant city that spans the world, and we’ve been moving more and more of our lives into this world.
It leads me to wonder what’s left outside this world of the internet.
The world of actual humans, face to face, having some kind of interaction in some kind of physical space.
Because of the concerns, one might say panic, about health risks, we now no longer have very much interaction person to person in the physical world.
And it leaves me to wonder, how can we have a community?
If we can’t have it in the physical world, if we’re not really having physical interactions, then we have to do it through this online imaginary screen world, and that leaves me to wonder how it can even be done.
So when I look back at history and the way that communities once were, there would simply be people around you.
If you had your village, your your part of the world, there would be people living there, and you would to some degree know them.
And this certainly has both advantages and disadvantages, as anybody living in a small town can attest, that it’s not all positive to have this community.
You also have people that are in your business all the time, and people that have a lot of very strong opinions about what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and they’re there in your face.
Whereas the city, and the megacity of the internet even more so, allowing us to be anonymous: one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of it, or the one the best positive things about it, is that people will just leave you alone to do what you choose to do.
And the downside of that is that everybody’s leaving you alone, so actually nobody actually cares what you’re doing.
But the upside is that you do have that openness and freedom to do what you choose.
Whereas in traditional community, it seems like you’re always answering to other people, and they’re always a presence.
But still, as much as it’s good to be free and undisturbed, it seems like we can’t really have a complete meaningful life without having some kind of community.
And in the megacity internet world, we don’t have any automatic community.
We can find people through that maybe they have a shared interest somehow.
But with the interaction being through a screen, it leaves me to wonder: how can we make actual community?
How can we have a community in this new internet megacity landscape?
And so I would like to hear some ideas of how you find community.
Is it just the community that you had outside the internet, from your family, maybe school, friend group, that becomes your community, and it simply moves online?
Or do you have ways that you develop a true feeling of community out of the online world?
So I’d be curious to hear how you’re doing this.
#community #buildyourowncommunity #findcommunity