Tuesday, December 07, 2010

December 7: Can I Invite Joel McHale?

December 7 Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

Work community, friend and family community, online community: I think I have three solid groups of people that I happily consider my community. I get something different, with varying levels of intimacy and connection from each one. And of course, Mr. Joel McHale, the star of Community. May I add him to my most intimate friend and family community? I would like to, oh boy would I like to (Sorry, dear, but he might be on my five celebrity list,) and because back in June he sent me a direct tweet and it made my day, ok, week, that qualifies him as a member of my online community, right? Ok, back to reality.

Easiest by far for me to connect with is my friend and family community. That's kind of a given. These are the people I see most frequently and spend the most time with outside of work. These are my core favoritest people in the whole world, so of course it's easy and I make them a priority. But what's not as easy for me is maintaining loose, light friendships.

I have a tight group of close friends and family rather than a huge range of casual friends and acquaintances.  It's a flaw of mine that I don't like, and it's always made the idea of small talk and superficial networking slightly awkward for me. But that's changed.  I've learned in the last year that that's all pretty much in my head. I have plenty of light, casual friends. I make fine small talk. I'm good with strangers, because I'm generally a good listener and question asker. I'm mildly charming, especially after 1/2 a drink. And other than my nervous sweaty palms, I can network with joy and mild pleasure now. Big smile plastered on my face and a couple of solid, targeted questions depending on the group, and I'm golden. In the last year, I've put myself in situations where casual friendships and acquaintances are required and it's helped me get past this silly little block.  And this has certainly helped me further grow my work community too. Simply based on the variety of clients I work with and their events that I attend, I feel like a true part of the nonprofit community in Kansas City. I do want to continue to expand and develop my role there and I'm working on it. Anyone need a new board member?

Finally, my online community has flourished this year. I love Facebook. I've discussed my addiction, and the slow weaning process has gone quite well so far this week. But it's wonderful because it's reconnected me with so many old friends, helped me make some fascinating online only friends, photographers, artists and writers that I never would have met without the internet. Facebook wins. Twitter is ok, but I'm not as sure about how to make this tool work for me at this point. But the blogging community is something that I would like to expand my presence in for 2011. I want to read more blogs and comment more often, gain new insight into other people, their stories and experiences, those that are different than mine and similar. And the Reverb 10 project is the perfect way to start making that happen. So as much of a time commitment and challenge as it's been, I'm glad I signed up.

So now it's your turn, are you a person with a huge social network or a tighter, smaller group? Do you prefer a raucous, packed party or an intimate dinner for ten? Why?


Amanda said...

I want Joel McHale to be in my community too! : )

Nae said...

Ok I'm ashamed, I'm off to Google Joel McHale right now....ohhhh duh. You know I'm bad with names+faces. What'd he say??? I'm dying to know!!