Reflections on Community

Welcome to the start of my #CuriousCoLab series! Wait… Do what now? This is where I would normally include a whole long rant about awesome things that will help me prep for my dissertation but someone else already did, so I don’t have to!

So now that you know what’s going on, join us – it’s FREE! …Or just read on for my first assignment!


 

For the first activity, we are supposed to create a visual representation of what ‘community’ means to us. I have so many directions to go with this but since my research employs use of new media (digital technologies, particularly social media), I figured I would carry that into this post (throughout the course?)

I’ve been on Twitter for nearly 6 years now. I resisted adamantly for the first two years of the platform’s existence but finally ‘caved in’. It was the best ‘caving in’ decision I’ve made in my life. Over the years, my Twitter community has helped me land jobs, helped me help others land jobs, and expanded my personal and professional networks almost exponentially, amongst other amazing benefits. There has been a lot of buzz lately about how Twitter and other new media are often used to destroy community, rather than build it. Although I have seen some of this (and seen good things mischaracterized as such), I have seen more amazing feats of community* online than I ever saw before joining. These ‘amazing feats’ have helped keep people out of homelessness; funded life-saving surgeries; reunited people with people, things, and pets; and just generally inspired folks (me) to live another day. That said, I’ve decided to showcase just three such instances that I’ve witnessed (and even participated in) that recently made me cry tears of joy.

*Can we make this a thing? Amazing Feats of Community (AFC)?


 

That time when a BEAUTIFUL young lady expressed her disappointment in how mean her schoolmates were to her, so people conducted a massive search to find her and bombarded her with love…

Amani Collage

 

That time when some jerks made fun of a man for enjoying himself at a concert and Twitter came together to celebrate him, instead…

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That week when a couple of us youth workers ran into young people we’ve helped along the way and decided to share, only to be reminded that others are also inspired by our work…

A couple of heartwarming stories from a couple of youth workers who ‘ran into’ young people we’ve worked with over the years. People often note on how ‘thankless’ this work is. We like to celebrate the moments when we’re granted immeasurable satisfaction – and how those moments impact others.

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