Where has community gone? | INFJ Forum

Where has community gone?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Milon, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    I'm sure I'm not the only one to have noticed this, but community is disappearing. People are becoming more and more disconnected from themselves, from each other, from the Earth, from spirituality... What's causing this sickness? What's it leading to? What happened to the days when humanity had community? A connection with one another?

    Maybe I'm just cynical, depressed, or frustrated. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's just the colour of my glasses. But if not... I'm worried. Are we forgetting what it is to be human? Or community, connection, relationship - are they being reborn or remade as something new? Or are we just in a downward spiral? :(

    I see people longing so much for deep friendships, but still trying to control everything, keep everything safe. Not wanting to get too invested. Are we just afraid? Does anyone else see this? I'm having a hard time articulating...

    EDIT: Community, relationship, connecting with other people... Call it what you will, but it's a risk. There are no guarantees with other people. As soon as I wrote that part above, my impulse was to find some sort of media I could connect with. A web comic, perhaps a TV show I love, something. Something that would give me the experience of relating to others without the actual risk of doing so. In seeking a "safe" experience of community, have I closed myself off to real relationships?
     
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    #1 Milon, Jun 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  2. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    ....The only thing this topic has made me think of is the fact that we might not have ever had a community 'until' now. I mean, on a global scale, not just two towns, two clans, heck, even two countries. Maybe we've grown so big as a species that this 'rift' is becoming exaggerated.

    That friendship thing is the fault of the person for not letting himself to vulnerable, not the community 'failing' them.
     
  3. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    To be honest, community turns me off. I generally don't like communities. I get this feeling of obligation that I have to do something for it all the time, or always be a part of it. I am very individualistic and that is likely part of my adversion to community. While it is nice to go to groups and be around people of like minds now and then, I seldom seek that out. I would much rather have one or two close friends around me and that fills that social hole for myself.

    I also don't think it is that people no longer want community groups. I think large portion of this is due to the nature of communities changing. They are becoming much more surface/shallow and are losing overall depth to them. That isn't to say though that all communities are dying. There will always be groups out there that people feel a true connection with.
     
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  4. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Yeah, as we get more and more people on Earth, and we congregate in larger and larger urban centers, interactions become more and more formal and indifferent, maybe cold.

    And yes, you are cutting yourself off from real interaction by becoming involved in artificial interaction. What do you all think we are doing on forums like this? We could be out with people in real life, unless you are in a very isolated area of the the world, which most of us aren't.
     
  5. Azure_Knight

    Azure_Knight Community Member

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    Although the recession has brought about a lot of lost jobs and such, I hope that people will come to realize what is really important in life during these tough times. I think we are all so caught up in technology and keeping up with our lives that we don't have enough time to really sit back and reflect on who we are and where we are going. I think of families especially when I am writing this; I'm not sure if it is a change in the perception of time, but I have heard more parents say that their children are growing up so fast.

    Regardless, I hope the times will allow us to come back to the fundamental basics of human interaction and community. I see many empty sidewalks and streets clogged with cars that are as trapped by the roads as fish are in a pond.
     
  6. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    I think you hit it pretty well on Milon. Safety. Community interaction is a risk, one which can now easily be avoided with technology. This is a horrible adverse affect technology has created. Taking a more adventurous route emotionally builds emotional strength. Emotional strength is severely lacking these days.
     
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  7. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    There are plenty of communities in the world one can join...you can join a local photography club, academics, there are communities built around a certain media...they're all over the place.

    The only difference from the past is that we are not forced into a community such as our town or the military...and that communities now seem centered around common interest instead of being born in the same place. Things have improved because we have more choice now.

    If you want community, look at your local options and get out there and do it.
     
  8. Lune Froide

    Lune Froide Community Member

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    Yesterday I picked up a book from the store that mentions the word 'community'. After reading the following excerpt I had pondered your question myself, milon. The practicality of the excerpt aside, I think it's relevant and you may find it interesting.

    I would personally love to see block parties come back to life! Even the good ole delivery of treats to a new neighbor when they move in seems to have died out. Probably considering just how often people need to move these days.

     
  9. Silently Honest

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    I live in a pretty good community myself, so I wouldn't have a proper answer.
     
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  10. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    There's plenty of lack of community in real people interaction too. Go out to any given bar or club where you can't even speak over the volume of the music. This is what people think socializing is now, being around people instead of meaningfully interacting with them.

    Then again, who am I to designate what interactions are meaningful and which aren't?
     
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  11. sedna

    sedna Community Member

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    I don't know if I've ever been a part of a community. I generally feel a lot of distance when I try to run with a collective, so I just don't make the effort to get closer to people. It seems I must to lose a part of myself to fit in, so I'd rather not. I can have shared goals with other members of a community, as long as it doesn't interfere with my individuality.
     
  12. Madison

    Madison Regular Poster

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    Milon, I didn't appreciate a sense of community until I experienced a lack of it when I moved to a city where I didn't know anyone. Previous to that, I thought community was suffocating and took it for granted.

    My ideas about community have less intensity and idealism. Now I am fairly content with simply having shared values, and sometimes I find that through a type of media.
     
  13. Patrick

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    I find it funny you should bring this topic up. Having grown up in a small, rural town I noticed in the past decade the quick demise of 'community' here as I once knew it. Lavish community picnics sponsored by the town's major employer stopped as successive larger multinationals took over; Summer festivals and parades of civic pride (once celebrated in every small community separated by a few kilometres) waned into non-existence as municipalities instead raced to outdo each other with bigger and better (and, ironically, largely unused) civic buildings; 'Community clubs' where local children once congregated for free every day of the summer stopped operating; Frequent visits with neighbours for tea became infrequent and then stopped altogether; Summer ceilidhs, local weekend gatherings of yesteryear, became populated by tourists from urban areas seeking this elusive sense of community, as all but a few locals withdrew from the tradition. Of course, everyone has their own experience of community, but these are just a few of my own observations. I've recently been lamenting the loss of that sense of community, and I've tried bringing this topic up with friends to see if the world is actually changing, or if it's just me. For the most part, people acknowledged the change but seemed disinterested by it at best and didn't care in the slightest at worst... so I stopped bringing it up.

    I have no doubt this failing sense of community at the local level is coinciding with the proliferation of modern technology, as we learn to connect with people in new ways. I don't mean to say the Internet is a bad thing -- far from it! We now have the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world with whom we like to think we have more in common. It's great! But I think it's changing our definition of 'community', and our traditional communities suffer as a consequence. Not to say that one type of community is better than the other -- I think I'm just a bit averse to change sometimes and would love to have the best of both worlds!

    Having said all that, I recently watched a TED talk that suggested 'tribes' will once again become a prominent social unit. I think it might be relevant to this conversation! Link
     
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  14. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    Wow,Patrick. First, hi :D Second, thanks for the link. I really enjoyed listening to Seth Godin speak. I'd never heard of him before but I liked what he had to say and felt it was a valuable insight. So, thanks for sharing it. :D
    I hope you stick around, and to read more of your thoughts. :)
     
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  15. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    I think about this all the time because I am watching it daily. So here are my observations.
    1. Technology has ruined community. There was a time when we needed our neighbor maybe he was a hunter and you were a Gardner and together you made a stew. Now you just go get the things you want at the store and your done. Everything is way too easy now and you don't have to directly rely on anyone. But they are there working at hospitals and banks and schools but you never really notice that they are there.
    2. A lot of people moving into your community. In my town we have had such a huge influx of outsiders that the locals are now on the outside. The very people I grew up with left and moved away because they did not like the town they lived in anymore. Someday I will join them. The peoples values do not match the values of the people who live here anymore so it makes it difficult to relate.
    3. Money and living the dream. I really don't believe in money. It has taken over every aspect of modern life and without it your doomed. I was looking around at all these people who are like peacocks to me. They have a garage full of toys 4 wheelers dirt bikes mtn bikes street bikes vintage cars and a house. They are living the dream. But what is the dream? The pursuit of money was the dream. Notice who is getting hurt now after money got them so high. The fall down is much worse. Money also takes away from people who have natural potential but can't afford to join the group because of lack of funds. A lot of good has come out of money I just feel that the focus of everyone getting rich and famous so they can one up and snob everyone to be frivolous.
    3.Someone else will take care of it. I see this attitude all the time now and I am not quite sure where it came from but it is here. Community needs volunteers to keep working at every level. I find that in the end if you want community you have to create it. You can create your own group of people and with them you can work together. You know the old saying birds of a feather flock together.

    I think that you have to create your world you can't hole yourself up and hide from the world. There are places where you are needed look at this forum it has become a little community of it's own. Some of us know each other some of us don't. But as a group we are the infj's community in the end. All of us have a purpose in life and I find that the human connections I make to be the most rewarding. Yes people can be cruel and hurt you, it just makes me really love the ones who choose not too....
     
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    #15 efromm, Jun 14, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
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  16. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    I don't think community is disappearing, but it's form changes as the needs of those individuals who make up humanity change. I don't think communities formed around common interest over great distance are less of a community than that formed of people of varying backgrounds and interests who primarily share proximity. I think they are simply a different sort of community.

    I think a proximity community has something very valuable to offer, but has downsides. I think that interest based community has something very valuable to offer, but has downsides. Basically I think any manifestation of community could be seen from a positive and negative perspective.

    Milon, I sensed in your opening a discussion of fear, a desire for safety, and a withdrawal from really investing yourself in other people in order to provide yourself that safety. I believe that could be a truly legitimate need to be honored. I sensed however in your communication that you were feeling within yourself that it was no longer meeting a need and that your real need right now is for a closer community. Perhaps a community that challenges you to reach outside a place of comfort and to grow. I strongly believe those inner promptings are to be followed. To everything there is a time. It sounds to me as if for you, right now, the time is for community. I wish you the strength to reach out of your safety and to submit yourself, if only for a time, to both the difficulties and growth that come as part of a deeper connection with community.
     
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  17. TaylorS

    TaylorS Community Member

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    Community is being undermined by the cancer of corporatist-consumerist capitalism and it's underlying ideology of social atomism and the Man as a wholly rational, self-interested being. Natural, organic social groups and communities are bad for corporate profits, more self-actualized individuals means less "whoever dies with the most toys wins" thinking.
     
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  18. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    So you're against it? :wink:


    sorry, I'm sleepy and feeling silly. :m032: nice rant though.
     
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  19. just me

    just me GONE

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    I was going to pass this one by earlier, as so many inspirational things have been brought out and I did not feel I had anything to add.
    However, after giving ear to the word "community" and thinking on it this afternoon off and on a bit here and there, I do feel impelled to say something.
    I, personally, seek communion. I do see a bit of that slowly disappearing from the temporal aspects of daily life because of several things.
    There are many, many bleeding hearts out there in the world. I see a mosquito flying about near the monitor right now and it wants blood. It hungers and I have what it hungers after. I have only so much and do try to protect it.
    Things seem so much more complicated in the world today than yesterday. Complications take up our time more and more. Guess that drains away from the time we have to do the things we like or need to do in order to feel part of something.
    Spirituality; now there's an answer to our needs. We can have communion while doing other things. Physical interaction with others may be of more importance to some than spiritual interaction, though the same can be said vice versa. I feel, therefore, the need for each individual to find that type of communion with community or communities that fulfils their own needs.
    It is, after all, relating to said community that is so important rather than just being there. Guess that is why I seek and do find communion. I can find that at almost any time while doing almost anything.
    I did kill that pesky mosquito just then as he tried to drain from me his need from my sustenance without having anything to offer in return. We must remember to try and offer something in return for others that have needs, too.
    As our economy is taking a roller coaster ride, I cannot help but feel the answer to the problem is more community and communion-based than mathematics or economics. The people are the ones to make things work or sit back and watch them falter. I see about a fourth of the people living off of retirement and social security funds, health benefits, and the likes that have paid their dues. There may very well be another fourth out there that may not be carrying their weight and living off welfare, food stamps, and pandering, stealing, and the likes. There may be a tenth that have become or are about to become jobless and some possibly homeless. Governments are pressing the remaining working force to pay for everything. Some people that draw a paycheck every week simply do not deserve what they are getting. I look at the big community of people out there and wonder how many more straws can be placed on the camels' backs before they break. People have to step up and try harder. There is an economic community out there that is failing because too few are paying for too many to withstand for a long period of time. I often wonder what it is going to take to get things back going again. Will I be taken care of when I become of age? Will you? Will we take care of those now?
    I miss community, too, though there are many out there screaming for someone to step into their midst and help.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkGDrV_2ehI

    Can You Feel The Love Tonight

    There's a calm surrender
    To the rush of day,
    When the heat of a rolling wind
    Can't be turned away

    An enchanted moment,
    And it sees me through
    It's enough for this restless warrior
    Just to be with you

    And can you feel the love tonight?
    It is where we are
    It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
    That we got this far

    And can you feel the love tonight,
    How it's laid to rest?
    It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
    Believe the very best

    There's a time for everyone,
    If they only learn
    That the twisting kaleidoscope
    Moves us all in turn

    There's a rhyme and reason
    To the wild outdoors
    When the heart of this star-crossed voyager
    Beats in time with yours

    And can you feel the love tonight?
    It is where we are
    It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
    That we got this far

    And can you feel the love tonight,
    How it's laid to rest?
    It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
    Believe the very best
    It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
    Believe the very best

    by Tim Rice
    Elton John's music
     
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    #19 just me, Jun 15, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  20. OP
    Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    You know what? People need people because people need community, connectedness. I have that. You have that. We each have the ability to give and to receive a connection of the heart. Yet we're afraid. We hold back. It's not so much that society or people have changed. It's that I don't give community, and I don't look to receive community. I look after myself, think about myself, watch out for myself. And everyone else is just an inanimate obstacle. I can't blame you, I can't blame "them". I can only say that community lacks because I don't actively cultivate it. I can't control anyone else's actions. Just mine. And I can't find community by keeping my eyes on me alone. So I guess the question becomes, do I want community bad enough to go beyond myself?
     
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