Community: Real or Virtual?

Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood where generally people looked out for each other and were friends. My friends and I couldn’t get away with anything without our parents knowing almost instantly what we were up too. This to me is the definition of a community, a group of people that look out for one another.

Whether on the Internet or around a neighborhood, communities are set up to spur conversation about common interests or to protect each other. If people are down on their luck, you should come together to help those people out. Whether it is coming together to support a community bank that is in trouble or having a community health center that provides discount health services for community members who are in need. These are essential for communities to thrive.

The Internet may not be a physical community or neighborhood but in a sense it acts the same way. Gaming communities can come together to mourn a loss of a person and even set up a memorial fund in that persons honor. People involved in online communities may have never met each other in person, but still have a strong bond that connects them the same way neighborhoods bond together.

The main idea here is helping each other, surviving on your own is hard and sometimes you need people to help you out and pick you up. Communities provide that because they are the people that are around you on a daily basis. It can be on the Internet or in person, as long as the people feel a connection and friendships grow out of it I don’t see the difference.

I don’t personally belong to any internet communities other than Facebook, but have heard stories from friends who play online games or are on message boards and feel a close connection with the people they interact with daily on there. They feel that those people understand them more than their neighbors or people they attend school with.

Communities are essential in our world; it is basic human nature to want to surround yourself with people you trust and feel a bond with. With today’s economy and the fact that people are struggling to just get by, they are even more essential. There are no basic guidelines for a community, but most people realize when they are part of one.

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