caryk
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Building Stronger Social Ties and Communities

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We’re currently in an epidemic of loneliness.

All our lives, there’s structure and social opportunities built in until we join the “real world” as “adults.” Once that happens, if we don’t have many friends or if we haven’t learned social skills to keep them, you’re more or less on your own. Social isolation is one of the worst feelings, and it can’t get better until it’s addressed and maintained.

I want to build a community to address this epidemic and help people make and keep friends as adults. I want to start out by helping make connections between people with similar hobbies or backgrounds and then they can help introduce even more people.

Beyond making friends, I see this turning into a community that cares for itself, with different chapters across the country, that volunteers, builds community gardens, and more. I think when we connect people to other people, we build stronger ties and stronger communities.

I’d love to hear opinions on where to get started and what you might want out of a community like this.

3 Comments

  1. Interesting idea. I recommend you start with researching and understanding what builds social ties: whether it’s common hobbies, backgrounds, geography, or something else. I would take an approach of conducting some informational interviews, maybe with both groups of friends to understand how they built their friendship as well as individuals to understand their understanding of how friendships are built. By bringing together approaches that built successful friendships and understanding where the gaps in friendship-building may be, you’ll have a more nuanced view of how to create and grow this type of community.

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  2. Hard to say an answer here, as the needs and wants of different people will vary. I might consider whether or not there is already an existing community that focuses on these community activities or if you need to create a new community from scratch? Additionally, it may be helpful to think about what kind of activities or events you would like your community to host, and how often you would like them to occur. Finally, it’s important to consider who your target audience is and how you can reach them. Some ideas for outreach include social media, mailing lists/newsletters, local meetups/events, and more. Hope that’s a good starting place for you to brainstorm! Good luck!

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