Creating Positive Community, Virtually

Elaine Porcher
Elaine Porcher

Our community that once was in person and personable has now been largely scattered across the internet. We see our friends, families and co-workers on the screen or on the phone rather than up close with deep hugs and eyes of affection.

Humans weren’t built for this, actually. We are communal beings by nature, and our brains are wired to be in the close company of other humans in order for us to flourish.

Part of what we know about human flourishing is that happiness and positivity play a big part in determining how well we are doing, mentally and physically. While data shows that people who maintain a strong positive community tend to be healthier and happier, positive communities also contribute to a more stable mental state than those who do not cultivate positive community.

Hence, our virtual community must be activated in order for us to evolve.

Below are a few tips on how to develop a positive virtual community that contributes to overall happiness and well-being.

 Identify What May Be Preventing a Connection To Others

Some of us may be shy or busy, or we may have real difficulty in making connections with others. Look at what may be stopping you by making a secret list-- naming all of the things hold you back from connecting. After you make your list, destroy it! Then, make a second list on why community is important to you. Acknowledgement is the first breakthrough, and letting go of a past that doesn’t serve you is your path toward true happiness.

 Write About Your Dream Group

Having trouble finding your tribe online, or don’t know how to take that first step into communal bliss? Start writing about it. Who would you want to connect with? What kind of people are those? What would you like to get out of these interactions? What could be the benefits? Make adjustments for safety, then go after your list. Brainstorm where you can find your tribe and how you can go about doing it.

Identify Your Creative Side and Find Others Like You

Revive that fun and creative being within you. Then, go out and find others like you to meet with or discuss your shared interests. For instance, if you like watercolors, see if you can take a safe watercolors class or look at your local museums to see if there are any virtual or live events on watercolors. Apply this structure to anything. Maybe it’s knitting, comic books, interior design, food, signing, comedy writing, etc…

 Strengthen Your Existing Relationships

Look at your current tribe of folks and see how you can make stronger connections with them. Maybe there are a few phone calls that you can make to tighten your community.

 Volunteering

There are tons of places that need bodies to help with community service. Doing service is a great way to feed your heart and make deeper connections. Choose a cause associated with your passion to support an agency or organization that you love.

Take a Class

Learning something new with others is a great way to bond with like-minded people. Whether it’s online or in person make sure you’re in a class with other people that you have the opportunity to interact with.

Social Media Clubs and Groups

Hone in on clubs or groups that speak to your interests to build the tribe you desire. I’m part of a group on the Platform Clubhouse that has a room called the Daily Smile. It is as awesome as it sounds. Hundreds of people from around the world join for a half hour each day to say in 15 seconds or less what made them smile that day. It’s so inspirational and fun.

 Start Your Own Group

Start your own online group. Reach out to friends or your social media pals to let them know your group is taking place. Meet regularly to do fun stuff like sing, games, paint, scrapbook, show pictures or to discuss your favorite topics like tv, film, politics, horticulture, books or anything your mind can dream of.

 

These are just a few tips to get you the path and stimulate ideas.  Once you start putting your energy into cultivating a positive community that feeds you, you’ll find easier ways to bring your tribe into fruition.

 

 

 

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Elaine Porcher

By Elaine Porcher

Elaine Porcher is the Senior Director of Business Development for The Leadership Program where she is responsible for enriching school and community partnerships and designing programs that help transform school culture in New York City and nationwide. With over 20 years of experience designing curriculum and facilitating workshops for parents, educators and students, Elaine brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to schools and communities that include finding strategic solutions for districts nationwide, coaching teachers in student engagement and providing effective management tools that motivate and excite staff.