Community Of Caring And Purpose

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In December I decided to start a new relationship with my phone. I limited my screen time and I deliberately deleted any social media apps.

The intention was always to ‘plug back in’ come January, but as the time drew nearer I started to get that ‘ back to school feeling’. I simply did not want to.

Asking myself why I need to share, and realising I’d become far more liberated by ‘not sharing’, I truly loved my life without social media!

For a long time I have become suspicious of anything which outwardly rewards & encourages us to spend more and more time lost within our phones. So perhaps it was time to step away?

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We are told that to run a successful business we ‘need’ social media, and perhaps that is true, but at what cost? Most often it feels energy inefficient.

We are led to believe by society that our modern day sense of community must live in boxes, in grids, within the screens in our hands.

I feel genuinely lucky to have known a time without computers, but what about future generations? They will not know a mind free of technological overwhelm.

Conflicted, I turned to this quote by Jesse Wolf Hardin to make sense of how I was feeling. It is intended to describe a community of herbalists, but it’s what I believe is special about the online community that we have built up over our short time on the internet.

De facto Communities of Caring & Purpose ~
One whose community is spread out, or even global, usually unintentional but highly significant. We share motivations, priorities, goals, and sometimes actual projects with other natural, unofficial members.
We function as wild and weedy seeds, sprouting in new environs, challenging entrenched order, inspiring new ways of seeing and healing among disparate groups and unknown strangers.
— Jesse Wolf Hardin

It simply ‘connects’ us. Good or bad.

I was also reminded of an interview with Seth Godin. He believes that the real reason for us all being on social media is to quite literally be ‘SEEN’.

To be seen, to be held, to be inspired and to be connected.

To be in community with one another , I believe, means to support and to see one another and live in fellowship.

To be part of an online community gives us the freedom be “wild and weedy seeds”, to be anywhere geographically, with our community conveniently in our pockets.

Both a blessing and a curse.

Have we become a world, where ‘instant’, fleeting & overwhelm is normal. With never enough room for time spent listening and truly seeing one another. Only ever skimming the surface. Avoiding real life community, for apps in our phones for the sake of being brave and vulnerable.

How can we hold each other if we can not see one another? Algorithms, chasing followers & likes only blinds us to the reason we are all there in the first place.

To be connected. To find Inspiration. To be seen. To see one another.

To be a community of caring & purpose.

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I spent my time away trying to be a better community member, both ‘IRL’ & online. I imagined a life without social media and hurriedly signed up to many mailing lists, noted down emails and websites, and I now visit pages, as opposed to just scrolling through ‘feeds’ that are dictated to me by a robot.

I remind myself to always question what we are being ‘FED’, especially when it is a feed that we all can so easily get lost in.

I do not have the answers, but as Andrew and I embark on a life changing adventure, leaving the real life community that we know to start all over again, ‘online’ suddenly has greater importance for staying ‘close’ to the ones we hold dear. .

Social Media in essence is a tool to be used, but not to be used by.

Striving for balance, as always, within the realms of our online & real life worlds.

~ Kelly-Marie x

Photographs from the wedding of the incredibly talented Isobel Barber & her lovely husband James .