The Power of the Small Community

It used to be, one could make a deal on just a handshake.  People could leave their doors unlocked on their homes and their cars without worry of break in.  A man’s word was his bond.  Everyone knew everyone, by name.

This wasn’t the world I grew up in, but I’m told by my Grandparents, and I’ve seen stories of ancestors where this was, at one time, the way things were done in the world.  We just trusted each other back then.

You see, back then, communities were much smaller.  In the days when trust was in its prime, everyone did know each other by name, because they could know each other by name.  Communities were much smaller back then and accommodated this lifestyle much easier.  Crime was much harder to commit because everyone in the town knew you, and you knew them.  Think, the Scarlet Letter – the worst punishment of that time was shame.  There was no anonymity.  There was no privacy.

Sound familiar?  We are quickly overcoming the bonds of large society which put us in this untrustworthy time to live.  The internet came at a time when society wasn’t ready to be exposed.  People enjoyed their anonymity and their sheltered lives.  They were used to contracts, and handshakes never meant what they used to.  Society fought the internet, and it appears, finally, the internet is fighting back.

Social Media is bringing back an era which we thought we would never see again.  People are being held responsible for their actions online, and again, communities are getting much smaller.   Now, circles of friends can virtually know everything about each other, know each other by name, and start to trust each other again.

I argue, the lack of privacy in Social Media is a good thing.  When you know who your friends are, you can build trust with them again.  Contracts are no longer necessary, and back is the handshake and word as a bond.  Small Community has been re-architected through a virtual means which no one saw coming.

Now, imagine the cell phone, when virtual lives become melded with real life.  Virtual “small communities” become real, and back again is the small town, weaved into the fabric of a very large Society.  Social Media is bringing back the days when man could actually trust one another!

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