I used to take community for granted when I was young. I though it was normal and comfortable. It made me feel like I belonged somewhere. Now, fifty years later I find I only find traces of it here and there. Our sense of community is disappearing, so are communities themselves. Even though we still have some real communities, whether they be religious, cultural, sports, and other special interest groups they seem to be dwindling in size, spirit and influence and giving way to virtual communities that are larger in size. Members in groups today are often separated from each other by technological gadgets to the point that members often communicate with each other using electronic communication devices, even though they may happen to be in the same building. The “common cause” also seems divided. What’s the result? Individuals of modern communities feel isolated and the community is less productive and influential.
Can that be changed in a technocratic world? Technology can be extremely useful in a community if it is used well, otherwise technology may tip the scale in favour of a virtual world over a real world. But what kind of community would be best suited to tip the community scale toward the real world? In my mind the two candidates would be business networking groups or singles groups. In either of these groups meeting other people face-to-face is definitely more advantageous.
In the case of business networking groups the group brainstorming activity is way more productive onsite than online, in fact I have never seen a productive online brainstorming group. Furthermore, business transactions depend on trust and it is difficult to trust someone you may never meet. Few people would dare share million dollar ideas online. Other people would be more likely to steal your idea rather than spend time improving it for the sake of someone they had never met.
In the case of singles groups you have the additional element of physical chemistry and body language which online experiences can never really compete with.
I am proposing to create an event which attempts to demonstrate the value of onsite meetings as opposed to online meetings. This free event on May 24th in Gatineau, Quebec, I will also combine singles and business net-workers at this event. I will then report on the results.