Social media, no matter what platform you’re on can be toxic – but it can also be the place where you find your community. That group of people who are just like you.
There are thousands of communities where you can find yourself landing on. From fandoms like a favourite TV Show, where you can connect and celebrate your favourite characters, moments of a show or come together and rally because the show was cancelled well before it should have. Right now, there’s a group of fans trying to save the show – and a personal favourite of mine – Batwoman (#SaveBatwoman), which has also started to gain traction in the news (Baker-Whitelaw, 2022). Seriously, this show is awesome, and should have never been cancelled – but that is for another topic.
The love for books is another example of people coming together to celebrate a shared interest (using the hashtags, #bookstagram for example will lead you to millions of posts about people talking about their passion for books.)
Not to mention, the viral videos on Tiktok about creator’s favourite books, which have led to countless posts, lists and sections in bookstores, displaying those viral books from TikTok (Fournier, 2021).
There are also communities such as the LGTBQ+ community, where people can find support, information in a way they may not have been able to access otherwise, if it weren’t for social media (Leventry, 2021). Connecting with others who share the same experiences as you can be awarding and help people feel less alone.
Social Media can also be a place where you can also cheer on your favourite sports team (or groan as they lose, again and again). The list goes with the sort of communities you can find yourself in – but it all leads to the same thing – finding a community where you can connect to others who are just like you. (There is a very serious negative side to this as well, trolls exist, and harassment is becoming more prevalent, but let’s save that for a different post).
One of the communities I found was with authors and booklovers, sometimes I dip into fandoms from my favourite shows – and while I tend to be on the shy side, and comment less often than I’d like – I’m still connecting and interacting with people with shared interests. People I’d never be able to connect with if it weren’t for social media. And that is a wonderful thing to have – to be able to reach out, connect and interact with a group of people you may not have able to meet in the outside world.
Have you found your community by using social media? If you have met your community, (and your comfortable sharing), who are they?
Facebook: Finding Your Community on Social Media. Where do you belong?
Twitter: Finding where you belong through Social Media.
Baker-Whitelaw, G. (2022, May 22) Fans campaign to save ‘Batwoman’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ following their cancelation on the CW. Daily Dot. https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/batwoman-legends-of-tomorrow-renewal-campaigns/
Now Trending on #BookTok. Chapters Indigo https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tiktok-booktok/
Fournier, M. (2021, December 1) TikTok Has Spoken: You Need to Read These 15 Books ASAP. Popsugar. https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/best-books-on-booktok-48331233
Leventry, A. (2019, September 19) The importance of social media when it comes to LGBTQ kids feeling seen. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/09/20/importance-social-media-when-it-comes-lgbtq-kids-feeling-seen/
Thanks for your post. I have to say that I agree with you. Social media is a wonderful way to connect with people that you would not normally get to connect with. I enjoy hearing the stories of people that have rare medical disease’s and are feeling alone in their diagnosis being able to search out others to make them feel not so alone.
I personally have not used social media in the same way. I have not connected with a specific group but I have joined a quite a few communities to learn new crafts. I watch how they do things but I have not discussed or spoke to anyone on these groups.
There is a downfall to this community though my children have experienced the bullying through these platforms. The teenage kids all meet and connect on these sites but they also now use this space to shun and exclude people.
Your post is very nice and thoughtful and insightful.
I have always been able to find my community within social media and have been locked into it. Mostly within the cosplay, LGBTQ2+ and geeky culture communities, but I find this also has a sad side to it. Throughout the pandemic many people have been able to connect and interest with these people daily and create a safe space for themselves, this includes TikTok, as their algorithm does very well at creating a “For You Page” catered to your interests and communities. This can be dangerous as it can create a false reality of everyone being inclusive and open to your ideas, when in society as a whole this might not be the case, and many people are still exposed to homophobia, transphobia, racism, and etc. But this is rarely seen when you create your own reality of the word through you own communities online. It can be a blessing to connect with those who share you values, but there is always a reminder needed that it is not the true social reality in the “real world”.