Community Is Dead Long Live The Lone

Community is dead. No longer does the front porch society exist. Whether it be urban sprawl, the Me generation or a lack of empathy towards others, we have moved inside and bolted the door behind us. Do you know your neighbors? Are you interested in meeting them? Me neither. Where did everybody go? I refuse to believe that our hardwired desire for companionship, this desire to be part of something, this urge to belong to something greater than ourselves has up and left, and we are all Islands in the sea of the human experience. I think I know where everybody is. Here. Online. Cyberspace.

Community is alive in well here in cyberspace. Search the web and you will find countless online communities catering to virtually every whim and fancy you could possibly imagine. Look no further then our beloved hub pages and you will see that the front porch has been replaced by the computer screen. Facebook, twitter and any number of other social networking sites speak volumes to this fact of modern life. How many of you have had or are having relationships with “people” you have never met face to face? Have you ever stopped to think about the strength of these relationships in terms of how they make you feel? The connectedness they inspire in your minds? Scroll through the endless topics not only here on hupbages but any other online community and you will be struck by the intensity, the drama and the very REALNESS of the dialogues taking place. It makes you wonder whether or not “real” life has been eclipsed by cyber life. Could it be that the anonymity inherent to online friendships ,relationships, business arrangements or whatever the case may be, has spurred us into developing stronger, more intense experiences than similar ones played out in “real” life? If so what does this say about ourselves as members of the human race? Does this place a burden upon us of the online world with a set of ethical and moral responsibilities that may not exist outside the computer screen? Do we have carte blanche to lie, cheat and steal simply because we can rationalize it away by saying that it is not real? It is only online so it doesn’t matter? Can we be duplicitous and underhanded behind the cloak of our anonymity to achieve whatever financial or sociopathic goals we may have? Maybe the more important question is will we? I do not pretend to know the answers. I have chosen only to bring up the questions t hopefully encourage an open, educational and productive dialogue as a result.

The one thing that I am absolutely certain of is this; behind every screen name, behind every keystroke, behind every comment , behind everything we see or hear online sits a living, breathing human being. This thing we call “online” is in many ways the sum total of our existence; our dreams, our hopes, our successes, our failures, our virtues, our strengths and our weaknesses. So you tell me; is it real?

Comments 20 comments

WildIris 6 years ago

I am sorry you do not have a "in real time" community around you. I do not think community is dead but hiding in pockets where people depend on each other and face-to-face meeting is elemental. I think this online stuff is a lot like talking to a stranger. One is more apt to disclose or talk about things they would not share with those close to them in real life. That is one of the beauties of the anonymous nature of places like Hubpages. One can express different sides of themselves both good and bad. Interesting hub. Thanks.


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Thanks Wildiris. You are right about the talking to stranger comment. take care!


cosette 6 years ago

i agree with Wildiris, there are pockets of people here and there. and moreso in urban areas. in my neighborhood, people started putting benches in the front of their houses instead of in the back, and on the weekends, everyone is out and about, kids are skateboarding while their parents sit and watch or chat with the neighbors. there's also a huge neighborhood park with bike paths, trees and benches within walking distance that helps. to me, the online world is not real. every so often, though, i connect with the real person and it is pretty terrific. as far as HubPages goes, there's some very good, very real writing going on in this community, which is wonderful, and which makes HubPages one of the gems of the internet.

cool hub, MZ! rating it UP


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Thanks cossette. Up is good. I need to move it seems. Take Care


cosette 6 years ago

hmm...the Hundred Acre Wood seems like such a nice place too ;)


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Things are much less complicated as Pooh sees them!


Old Pond profile image

Old Pond 6 years ago

I make a point of not talking about 'virtual' and 'real' - the terms I use are actions in the 'digital' and 'chemical'

I feel that they are both 'real'.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

Community is dependent on the environment. If you have three rats in a cage large enough, they will live happily. If you add three more, then the cage becomes too small. This results in fights and eventual killing.

People need space to grow and maintain wellbeing. When people live in crowded environments, then you have discontent and disharmony. This is where community dies.

However, if you look at poor countries, community thrives.. they are dependant on each other in order to survive. Therefore, it might be that wealth segregates us and makes us isolates. However, you dont get much of a chance to survive if you are not accepted in this - this could be problematic.

Me? I love my own company because the party is in my head! Hubpages allows me to opt in and share my head with others. Writing helps to tell the whole story, instead of interuptions in communications when you talk to people outside in the 'real' world. It allows you to think about the point you want to make in a way that others will understand. You can't get this thinking time in verbal communication and some people are so keen on their view that they dont hear what you say.

Cyberspace has definately filled in the need for community - good hub my lovely friend x


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Shaz, thank you for your very thoughtful comment. Speaking of Rats do you remember that movie "Ben". Sometimes I wish my emails would have an automatic pause in them...make me stop and think. Hope you are well in the lovely UK! If you are lost in the UK in your car, is it illegal to pull front into someones driveway in order to turn around? I know a scottish guy that is spewing around this vitriol and I wondered if he was just trashing the UK or was speaking the truth. Shaz rules!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

Hi hon.. well as the most closely watched country in the world, we are caught on CCTV camera 80 times an hour in our towns for example, much of the actions we perform might be considered illegal! hehehe. If we let our kids out to play.. this is socially unacceptable and they could end up with asbo orders (anti social behaviour orders). Yes, it is illegal to park on in front of drives - you end up with a fine. Everything we do is scrutinised. There is even talk of tracking us in our cars with satallite - check our speeds, automatic fines and charging for areas that we drive in.

The UK is getting like the 6 rat scenario, as previously discussed and there isnt much love around :(

I am thinking of travelling as soon as I can, when the kids are off and finding a place of peace, love and harmony. Australia, New Zealand has some appeal and I am considering doing a bit of time in NYC (mainly for the music scene). Well, lets see...you know how to make God laugh? Tell him your plans! lol

Love to you my friend x


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

I had no idea of the oppressive state of your lovely island empire. I wonder who watches all those images? George Orwell lives on. Burma comes to the UK. Your plans are still intact my dear, like Thomas The Tank train guy..i be thinkin i can...Have a great rest of your weekend shazarama


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain

You too my cuddlesome bundle of zen x


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

an profound hub, thanks for the interesting read. I quite like your style.


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Rebecca, thank you very much for your comment, it means much to me. Thanks!


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 6 years ago from Louisiana

I agree and disagree. I agree because it is true today that a lot of the things people used to do, sit on their porch, talk to the neighbors, kids playing outside, has been replaced by the computer, and tv, and video games. But I do spend a deal of time in the outside world, i dont just become a hermit and stay in my room on the computer, not all the time. i go out, i drink, i have fun hanging with friends. no i dont know my neighbors really, only a few by name, but i dont really speak to them, nor do i care to, because im never home anyway. But i guess people look to the computer screen so often is because you can be anyone you want to be. You can go places youve never been, learn things you never knew, and talk to people with no problem, no worries, or embarrassment because most likely youll never meet them, whatever the case, its more surreal sometimes. but we shouldnt let ourselves become like surrogates, that latest bruce willis movie. Thats just unhealthy. Put down your mouse, and get out in the real world sometimes. You might miss something.


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Very true, thank you for your comment!


whiteorchids profile image

whiteorchids 6 years ago from Tropical Paradise

We still visit our neighbors but from what I see sometimes the cyberlife takes over some people on a daily basis. I also agree that behind the avatar is a living breathing human being and some are reaching out for answers in there own cyber world. You certainly have me thinking!


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Thank you white orchids!


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

Very insightful commantary! Enjoyed it!


MordechaiZoltan profile image

MordechaiZoltan 6 years ago Author

Thank you for stopping by

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