Finding a Place of Community in 2018
The concept of community is constantly changing. Are we becoming closer or more disconnected? What impact does the digital world have on traditional values? How can we be more engaged on a local and national level?
These are interesting questions. To answer them, let’s look into the state of community in 2018, what community means to different people, and what role the upcoming Commonwealth Games can have in all of this.
Is community still relevant in 2018?
A 2009 report from the US, “Informing Communities: Sustaining Democracy in the Digital Age”, explored how much geographic communities not only still matter, but are also suffering – even in an age where we have more access to information than ever before.
Fast-forward nine years and this feeling is still present – particularly with the older generation. According to the 2018 Modern Australian Communities Report, 90.3% of Australian seniors agree local communities are the fabric of our society.
Further, 73.8% agree the quality of their life is reflected by the quality of their local community, 73.7% believe the death of traditional community-mindedness is prevalent these days, and 73.3% concede that communities do not support themselves enough nowadays.
Traditional community-mindedness is crucial for those who don’t have the skills to keep up or the proper access to digital communications. Because at the end of the day, we still live in the real world and spend most of our time within close proximity to our homes.
In Australia, disengaging from the traditional community is still an issue. However, with the rollout of the nbn™ across the country, there is hope more people can transition to a digital world and take advantage of the opportunities this presents for communities.
What does it mean to be part of a community – and how can that benefit you?
Engaging with the community can mean different things to different people. It might be about joining a sports club, volunteering at fundraisers, or tutoring students. Or it might mean travelling to different parts of the country, celebrating national events, or participating in town meetings.
Ultimately, being part of a community is about supporting one another, and building meaningful relationships. This means thinking and acting outside of our personal lives for the benefit of others.
But, what about the benefits for you? Let’s look at volunteering as an example. Beyond the societal benefits, volunteering in your community allows you to expand your own social circle by connecting with other volunteers, as well as potentially improving your communication skills, which can benefit your career. In addition to the social advantages, helping others, particularly animals, offsets feelings of stress, anger and anxiety.
It can also help you become a more collaborative person, introduce you to new friends and professional connections, build your self-confidence, open your eyes to different ways of thinking, and make you a more well-rounded individual.
Embracing your community