How Does Your Personal Community Flow?

This is a break from my norm and a fairly short article, but there’s a purpose to it. Stick with me for a couple of minutes; I’m a bit curious to see what you’re thinking.

sense of community


I have different levels of friends and associates in my life. In a way, it’s like a funnel, where the smallest part is populated with maybe 4 or 5 people, it goes up slightly from there to the next level, and at a certain point it widens greatly because there are many people I’m friendly with that aren’t exactly my friends; at least I don’t see them that way.

Yet, all of them are a part of my personal community. Every single person fills a need of mine somehow, whether it’s a business contact, an email contact, or a familiar face if I show up at a networking event. Every person helps to determine my sociability in different circumstances.

Probably like a lot of you, I’m easily more social online than offline. I don’t go to a lot of parties. I don’t go to a lot of networking events. I determine mentally what’s going to be beneficial for me versus what’s going to be uncomfortable for me.

If I’m invited to a party where I may not know anyone except the host, I’m probably not going unless it’s being put on by a close friend. If there’s a networking event and it’s not at a neutral site, I’m probably not going. In both cases, it’s because I know I’m going to spend significant parts of the event by myself, off in some corner or along some wall just observing what’s going on and contemplating going back home. If I’m going to do that then I’d rather just find a seat or walk around at the mall; lots more to see.

But I know lots of people who can step into any situation and suddenly be the life of the party. They’re the ones who are missed when they don’t show up for an event. I’m not that guy.

At least in the regular world. Online, it’s a different story. At a birthday party for a friend of mine that was held at a bar some time ago, (I don’t drink, and they didn’t have food; ugh) I was asked by one of the folks who follows me on Twitter if I ever went to bed, and how I can keep up with so much data that flows on Twitter even hours later.

I hadn’t realized anyone was paying attention. It seems that, online at least, there are times when I’m missed, thought not that often. Still, that definitely throws out some previous thoughts of mine that no one would really miss me if I went away for a period of time, blogs notwithstanding.

I’m now “kind of” acknowledging that I must have a larger personal community than I had imagined; how weird is that? What about you? How do you feel your personal community flows? It is bigger online than offline? How does it differ? And while you’re thinking about that, imagine being a part of this type of community:


8 thoughts on “How Does Your Personal Community Flow?”

  1. Hi Mitch, I’m more like you – more friendly online than offline with strangers it seems. I go to some network events and am shy until I get to know some people. When I leave I wondered why I was nervous at all. I’m more comfortable with them than I used to be but still not always FUN.
    I loved that video, it made me want to take a nap watching those birds. LOL. What a community they are in!
    Sometimes I like you, wonder if more than 1 or 2 people would notice my absence from social media. I may test that out come July. Maybe….If I’m not too afraid 🙂
    Great topic Mitch!

    1. Thanks Lisa. I admire those gregarious folks who can talk to any and everybody without reservation. I envy them but don’t want to be them; sometimes I don’t even want to be around them. lol I think that’s the appeal of being online; even when you’re in the moment you’re not actually in the moment in person. I’m more comfortable that way, but it’s also something I need to work on locally.

  2. I am active on both online and offline and there is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to my community within Pune where I live. Obviously with my community out of Pune, the traffic is almost all on the social networking sites like WhatsApp and Facebook with some on Twitter too. Due to my physical constraints, I don’t party much but friends and relatives call frequently and I am glad that I have them in my life.

    1. I didn’t know you were on Twitter; how have I missed that? I’m glad you have people checking on you, and of course relatives that do the same. You have a wonderful blog community; I’m envious! 🙂

  3. Hey Mitch, I reckon we have a lot in common. I much prefer to stay at home rather than go to parties and such, for the same reasons you’ve named above, but I go nevertheless to keep the wife happy.

    Unlike you though, I’m not such an online social butterfly. I usually only tweet my posts or videos, unless I promote one of your posts or videos that is. 😉

    That’s probably why I don’t have a considerable following. I’m OK with that though; it is what it is.

    1. Pete, I think you’d do well with a larger online following. Twitter’s pretty easy; post more of your stuff, occasionally post other people’s stuff and it’s just like commenting on blogs. Well, maybe not as effective but it has some benefits.

  4. I suppose one can determine whether they’d be missed, based on the amount of tagging that’s done (@ mentions, DM’s and the like.)

    Personally, I’m active in two online communities and have developed real relationships in both. “Friends” is a word reserved for those people for whom one would drop everything and hop on a plane if asked. 🙂

    Like you, I don’t like large gatherings. I prefer to keep to myself and my family.



    1. You and I are alike in many ways… except when it comes to technology. lol After the news this weekend about the passing of Irene Cara, I started thinking more about this article. I never met her, but I felt our lives were somewhat intertwined, since we’re the same age and I’ve “known” of her for 50 years. It feels like a strange thing to have an attachment to someone I’ve never met, but I realize I’m not the only one and I won’t be the last.

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