I’ve heard many people talk about online communities vs. real life communities vs. social networking communities etc. People blog about it, debate over it, and discuss whether your online community is as valuable as your in person community. While it differs from person to person, let me tell you about mine:
I recently sent out an email about a personal prayer request and issue that I am facing at the moment, and I have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I received from my online community (emails, fb, twitter). I do not have a strong support group where I live (for many obvious regional reasons), so I have come to depend on my online community. While I wish that I had a stronger community where I live, I would never discount my online community as just a “social networking tool’. They are my friends. They are my family. They are my rock.
So, if you are one of those people that think of the online communities as an artificial, surface group of people, who only communicate in a non-personal way, THINK AGAIN! And if you are part of my online community, let me just tell you this one thing: YOU ROCK!