For thousands of years, the community came down to proximity. One’s community consisted of the men and women living nearby, all of whom presumably shared a similar culture and ideology. The farther you traveled from your place of birth, the less you felt a sense of community.
Then a funny thing happened. Modern technology arrived. Suddenly, communities formed that consisted of individuals spread over vast distances. One could feel a sense of community so long as they had access to communications-based technologies like the telephone and, of course, the internet.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see how technology can be used to not only form new communities but strengthen them in the process. The following are six ways to use modern tech to help make communities stronger:
Communities come down to individual interactions and the interaction between community leaders and those they help lead. Technology makes these interactions more frequent and accessible. Individuals separated by great distances can touch base and relay crucial information that helps to provide substance and clarity. It also develops bonds between people, further strengthening communities of all shapes and sizes. Examples include chat rooms, video conferencing, social media posts, and old-fashioned telecommunications.
The history of humanity boils down to the organizational capabilities of communities. The more organized you were, the more influential and powerful you became. Fast forward several millennia later, and organizational prowess remains essential for keeping communities strong. For example, the software keeps various communities organized as they go ahead with goals and objectives. A place of worship may use church management software to keep members engaged and leaders on point, while a special interest club could use software to notify members of changes and update them on upcoming events.
Holding events with large gatherings is a hallmark of strong communities. From festivals to charity auctions to potlucks and more, technology in the form of social media and mobile apps can help ensure event planning goes smoothly and attendance meets or exceeds expectations. Before the arrival of modern technology, planning community-wide events took a lot of painstaking manpower and creative marketing. These days, event planning is practically “set it and forget it,” thanks to advances in software and other forms of technology.
From last-minute cancellations due to rain to notifying members of changing health and safety policies, sending updates was a nerve-racking process before the arrival of modern technology. Your only option was to go door-to-door, make phone calls, or send out snail-mail if time allowed. Now, members can be instantly notified via text, email, or app notification. Doing so reduces the rate of membership turnover by making the community more dynamic and fluid rather than rigid and cumbersome. It’s one more way technology helps to strengthen communities.
Virtually every community relies on some sort of volunteer effort or occasional involvement from each member. From operating the doors during a gathering to playing the role of organizer, many people are happy to help, so long as they know what needs to be done. Technology helps community leaders send the word out. Even better, technology helps lock involvement into place by digitally documenting someone’s commitment to being there and sending them reminders.
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Most self-described communities are open to new members. In fact, growth should be the goal of almost every community, as it adds further credence to their collective voice and gives them the clout needed to make an impact as a collective. Thankfully, technology has been a game-changing improvement in the effort to grow a community. From religious organizations to nonprofits to fan clubs, there’s a tremendous advantage to communities becoming more significant over time. Thanks to technology, individuals are more likely to be made aware of a community they’re interested in becoming part of, when otherwise they may have never known such a community even existed.
It’s safe to say modern technology has led to sweeping changes in all facets of life. From the way we shop to the way we learn, technology has provided tremendous benefits. When it comes to strengthening a community, technology is a powerful tool capable of bringing people closer together than ever before.