Making your way in the world today, takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries, it sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. You want to be where you can see, the troubles are all the same. You want to be where everybody knows your name. You want to go where people know, the people are all the same. You want to go where everybody knows your name.“Cheers” by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart-Angelo
A few years ago I had a conversation with a friend of a friend, Maggie, which has remained with me. It was about a new running group that she had joined. <A little bit of background info: Maggie had recently moved back to the city she grew up in, but no longer had the same social circle. She is married to a doctor, who was completing his residency and spent a lot of time at work.> So I’m listening to Maggie talk about this running group, and she mentions that it is made up of people who love running AND Harry Potter. It is a Harry Potter running group. I’m intrigued, I must now know more: where do they meet, do they wear costumes, etc. Turns out, it is an online group, through Facebook, in which the members encourage each other to achieve running goals and share their love of being Potterheads ™. That is when I knew, social media platforms, such as Facebook, were an absolutely wonderful thing.
A place for everyone, literally.
Do you like knitting? There is a Facebook group for that here.
Want to be part of a Pirate page? Sure, that exists here.
Avid ghost hunter? Find your fellow Paranormalists ™ here!
Do you love cats? Follow any of these hashtags on Instagram: #cats, #catsofinstagram, #catscatscats.
This list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Social media platforms have created safe spaces for groups of like-minded individuals to gather in the online world. Whether it be to share, to support or simply to encourage each other, people who might otherwise have felt alone, can have a feeling of belonging. Social media allows for traditional barriers, such as mobility limitations, geography, cultural practices, etc., to be non-issues. As long as you have an internet connection and a device (computer, table, smartphone), you can create an account and have access to a community made for you.
Making your way in the world today.
As the song goes, making your way in the world today, takes everything you’ve got. And that, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. In an increasingly complex and moving (usually) world, safe spaces and welcoming groups can be crucial to someone’s happiness and well-being. Shared experiences, like-minded individuals, and a sense of belonging have been made possible by social media. And though it can be argued, as I have done in my first two blogs, that social media has its negatives, I believe the positives outweigh them. And that is highlighted so much more today, when during a global pandemic we are being asked to social distance ourselves from others, to stay home, social media allows you to connect and be present. I think that this ability to connect, and Maggie’s Harry Potter themed running group, are the best things to come from social media.
What do you think? Are you part of any social media groups of communities? What is the best group you’ve been a part of, or even, just heard of online? I’d love to know!
Facebook: Where Everybody Knows Your Name: A Place for Everyone in Social Media. #Belonging #Cheers Read it at https://bit.ly/3c1euZT
Twitter: Where Everybody Knows Your Name. Read it at https://bit.ly/3c1euZT #weallbelong #cheers