As we grow more and more connected through technology we become more and more aware of the rest of the world. We can experience how different people eat their chicken, what they listen to, how tiny, secluded lakes look through the lens of a Snapchat filter. All of these things can now influence how we experience our world and the places we want to go.
But has this link to the rest of the world made us forget about the blocks we came from and the streets we played on? Have our connections with our periscope followers and friends made us lose sight of the Bodega workers and the diner waitress and the value they add to our everyday experience? So many in this day and age live where they have no connection with the community. They walk on sidewalks not understanding the games played back in the day. They go to a restaurant that used to be a favorite beauty salons for the neighborhood. They stop into that coffee shop that used to be the local bookstore. They have no historical reference to where they live because their living there has taken it away.
In this time of information, for me, the community is more important than ever. Communities are vast, personal, inspiring, and sometimes damaging both on and off-line. But it seems to me this disconnection with our daily lives, or escape from our daily lives online has stunted or changed our idea of humanity in our real lives. The relationships that we can build with the people whose body language we can see, whose touches we can feel, whose change in pitch of their voice we can hear, help connect us with subtleties of ourselves. The small things that influence our reactions, that help us form our perspective, can help us humanize and bring to life the struggles we face daily. These things are rooted in a personal history woven into the world we live in by the communities we chose to inhabit. When we are able to command the strength of our shared experiences, we can build communities that can help us rather than destroy us.
So, what are some of your communities? Who do you have shared experiences with? What does community mean to you? I want to go out and find communities based in the arts. Where should I begin?