Community doesn’t quite have the same meaning it did when I was growing up.
Living in suburban Pennsylvania as a kid, community meant that we could run through the neighbors’ yards on our way to our friend’s house. It meant that we ruled the neighborhood, winter and summer alike, and that we were safe hiding out in the woods. Girl Scouts. Halloween parties.
When we moved to Arizona, it meant dog-sitting and babysitting for the neighbors because we all knew one another. And it meant my parents spending weekends at the tennis club with their friends. Writing letters to my friends back in PA. Spending long weekends at sleepovers with friends.
Today, life looks a lot different. Thank goodness (for the sake of my livelihood)!
Community today, especially in the online business world, is about relationships with people who we may never meet in person. Community now has no borders, when it comes to your physical geography.
When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, community was all about who lived next door to you or down the street–and we were all so sheltered from learning about other cultures and different types of people.
Both in Pennsylvania and in Arizona, my immediate community was primarily white middle class. That’s who I saw every day and that’s who I grew up with–my friends and neighbors.
As much as we complain about all the distractions, thanks to the Internet, those distractions are exactly what have created a global community and global marketplace that has the potential to make this world a better place.
Thanks to the Internet and to my intentional action to introduce her to diversity, she’s able to grow up in a global world even within our immediate community.
Without my business, I’d still be working that day job that ate at my soul. So as much as I complain about the time-suck and distractions (and sometimes lack of privacy) that is the social media world that we live in today, this connectedness has broadened my horizons and helped me to build relationships and community far beyond what I ever thought possible.
I don’t always love it, but I’ll be forever grateful for the eye-opening experiences I’ve had thanks to the global community.
MotherHustle panelist Abby Herman is a content strategist and content coach for small business owners, helping to get her clients’ written message out to their audience, in their own voice and on their own terms. She specializes in working with female-owned, service-based businesses to generate ideas and strategies that help to move their businesses forward with content that attracts the perfect clients. Abby firmly believes in the power of educating and empowering business owners so they can grow their businesses without breaking the bank. Community over competition is truly her jam!
When she’s not crafting words or coaching her clients through their own writing roadblocks, you can find her exploring the mountains near her home in Phoenix or finding new ways to get her teenaged daughter to take a break from the school books and technology. You can follow her on Instagram,YouTube and Facebook.
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