What is a community? By definition, a community is ‘group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.’ The last 15 years have seen the growth of online social media communities where from a click of a few buttons people can find like-minded individuals on social forums, social networks. In essence, it can be argued that online communities have disrupted the existing idea of a community, the distinct difference with digital communities and ‘real’ communities, is that you may have never met these people you co-exist with online, but does that make a digital community any less real? I don’t think so. YouTuber’s are a great example of individuals who have created a community of their own, through sharing their lives and interests, they have grown a fan base who have in turn become their online community – a group of real people who have similar beliefs and qualities.
On the contrary, it is possible to be an individual in a connected world – where although we share our lives, our profiles on networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter may display what sets us individually apart from others. An Instagram account will contain personal, individual images that may interpret a person’s lifestyle. Although this can be argued as part of a social media network, a profile is still individualistic.
Lepinoy, S. (2017) Community/Individuality. [Lecture to GMD Year 2] London College of communication