Engaging in Community
This isn’t the post I had planned for today, but oh well, there’s always next week. Something occurred to me and I wanted to share it.
I left work last night (Tuesday) and on my way to my car I stopped (in a safe place) and checked my email on my phone. And there were some messages from someone on Twitter saying she hoped I started tweeting again soon. And, as usually happens, I started thinking about things and one thought led to another and…
The reason I stopped participating in Twitter (other than my blogs posting to it, courtesy of the magic of WordPress), is that it seemed like almost every post was an advertisement for something. There was no participation in community, no chatting, no back and forth getting-to-know-you vibe… just… people selling stuff. It was starting to feel anonymous.
It wasn’t like that when I first joined, but somewhere along the way it became a marketplace. Whatever happened to the “social” in “social media”?
So, I stopped going to Twitter. I went back briefly but stopped again — if anything it had gotten worse, so I quit again, and, quite honestly, I haven’t missed it.
But those notices in my inbox made me stop and think. By only doing automatic posts announcing my blog updates, am I not doing the same thing that drove me away to begin with?
In other words, am I becoming part of the problem?
Sadly, the answer is “yes.”
The solution? To start doing what the people that made me leave aren’t doing — participate, engage in community.
And, my mind being the off-beat thing that it is, took off in a different direction.
I’m a solitary. I have been ever since I started on this path. I’m also a hermit at heart. I just don’t do community.
For one thing, I’m not comfortable in groups. I don’t socialize well, especially not with strangers and sometimes not even with people I know. (One on one is all right, but groups? Um… not so much.)
Part of the reason that my thoughts strayed that direction may have been that I was near Harmarville at the time. (Sorry. Harmar. It seems to have lost its “ville” at some point.)
Anyhow, there is a Pagan meet and greet there once a week — sadly, it’s on a night that I work and is over about an hour before I roll past the exit — but even if it wasn’t I’m not sure I’d go.
And yet, I long for community. I want to have Pagan friends — local Pagan friends.
I don’t think I want a coven or a circle or any other type of ritual group, but it would be nice to just have other Pagans to hang with.
But would I? That’s the question.
I know of at least two people who would read this and say, “No, you wouldn’t.” And they’re probably right.
So, what is the answer? How do you engage in community — a real, live, face-to-face community — when you are a solitary, and a hermit at heart?
I hope someone has an answer…
Because I don’t.