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On being a member of the community

So I just realised something about social media, or maybe about myself.

Since the internet began we’ve had people in our lives that are more than acquaintances and not quite close friends. We are in each other’s orbit. We are village members, no matter where we are.

When there’s a tragedy, or a triumph, the village tends to join in and say the things village members say, often along the lines of "I'm so sorry for your loss" or "congratulations!"

Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing that. Maybe it's because offline communities were more real, maybe I was influenced by people in my life who distinguished between online and offline people, or maybe I just got overwhelmed by how much data there is on the web. Whatever the cause, I stopped saying little supportive messages, because I thought, "I'm not adding anything new".

Then my Mum died.

Suddenly I realised how every. single. word of support made so much difference.

Later this year, I was hospitalised. Same thing. Tons of support, and every single message a reminder that I was loved, and people wanted me to do well.

Sincere? Or just trying to fulfil a social obligation. I actually don't care. As the recipient of all those nice words, I didn't give a rat's whether the words were sincere, I appreciated them all.

So ... it took me a while ... but now I'm consciously piling on the love when I see tragedy, triumph or things in between. And it's great. I recommend it.

I'm always about connecting with new people and exposing myself to new ideas, but (finally) I'm also realising, it does help to cultivate these special acquaintanceships we form online. In the end, platforms come and go, but relationships can last forever.

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