It was an article from one of my favorite happy web sites, Positively Positive, that got me started thinking about tribe. The article was about finding your tribe, the people who are most like you and accept you for who you are. It stressed the importance of having a tribe, whether family or friends, and the importance of feeling connection to a tribe on our health.
I love this idea, and it brought up so many follow-up ideas and questions, like: can you create a tribe or do they just form naturally? How many big and small life decisions do we make that involve tribe; getting into one, staying in one, getting out of one? In order for a tribe to remain intact, do they punish dissenters or kick them out or just ignore them? Then I started thinking about the internet and tribe. I was amazed at how much of what we do online is in the name of creating and developing tribes.
By definition a tribe is a social division of people, a family or a group of people with something in common. Before the internet you were pretty much limited to the tribe you were born into (family and community) and if you didn't feel like you fit in, you could get the hell out of dodge and go find someplace you felt more connected when you were old enough. I would imagine there was a lot more personality bending for the sake of conformity in those days.
The internet brought us a new way to connect with others with like interests. I have found like-minded people online to connect with as a new mom, writer, blogger and book lover. Facebook has recreated my tribe of silly girls from high school and my closest sorority sisters from college even though we are all living in different parts of the country. We can now instantly turn to each other for memories or advice, for connection.
Ironically we are in an era of rampant individualism. This blog is me, expressing myself to anyone who is interested. Haters call it narcissistic, I call it finding my tribe, those who have ideas and opinions in common with me. The more I feel connected to (you) fabulous blog readers, the stronger I sense of self I feel. I feel accepted, so I am more accepting of myself.
Many days I don't leave my house. All of my jobs involve either writing on the computer, working online or doing things at home. It would be easy to feel isolated and at times I have, so now I reach out through my blog and Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and other blogs. I've found my tribe(s), my connection, my hommies.
Here's a link to a great website for a dose of happy everyday: Positivelypositive.com
Labels: internet, isolation, tribe