I recently came across an advertisement for a way to become more connected with others in the local area. Yes, it is a website which people can use to learn more about the area they live in. It can be used to find out what events are happening locally, items for sale and which tradespeople others have found reliable. In the world of today it sounds like a useful site. I remember a time when one just asked neighbours these things or looked on community noticeboards.
As technology develops and society changes we find different ways of doing things. Although some people seem to need human contact less than others, everyone has the need for support and company sometimes. It is widely recognised that feeling part of the local community tends to make a person happier today just as it did in past generations.
These days many find they are too busy to get involved with the local community. Some people move frequently and feel it is hardly worth the effort. However, feeling you are part of a community brings a sense of security and has many benefits.
The benefits may include:
Getting information about a doctor who is good with children
Finding a reliable babysitter
Swapping things such as magazines, books, plants, cuttings, vegetables or clothes
Help in an emergency
Sharing general useful information
Depending on what's available in your area, there are numerous ways to become more connected with the local community including:
Helping out at the local school
Joining a local sports team
Joining a group for an activity you are interested in such as writing or gardening.
Taking your children or grandchildren to playgroup
Joining a church
Dropping in at the community or neighbourhood house
Regularly going for a walk, especially accompanied by a friendly dog
It is easier to become accepted as part of some local communities than others. I have found some suburbs friendlier than others within the same city. People often say rural communities are friendlier than suburban ones but I haven't found this to always be the case.
On the other hand, sometimes a close knit community can involve too much sharing of information for the comfort of some. Part of this will depend on how private a person you are. Some are comfortable with others knowing all the ins and outs of their life while others don't share much information with anyone, even family and friends.
Knowing the neighbours can be reassuring and a source of support. Unfortunately, there can be valid reasons for not wanting contact with some neighbours.
Perhaps the neighbours are okay but the problem is too much contact. This is not just a modern phenomena, but something that has always been a potential problem.
Getting to know others in your local community can provide numerous advantages regardless of whether you use the old fashioned way or enlist the help of a website.