The last few days I’ve been reminded how important online communities are to our lives.
Some people argue online communities aren’t ‘real’ but I’d disagree. While we need face-to-face time with people, social media and the internet allow us to connect quickly to like-minded people around the world.
This week I shared my experiences with reverse culture shock and the challenges I faced returning home. I wrote the piece because writing for me is cathartic and because I wanted to highlight this important mental health issue.
I’ve been humbled by the response. I never expected people to share their experiences and feelings so openly.
The issue is a very personal one and I argued with myself over whether or not to share my thoughts. But I’m glad I did because it very quickly gave me the chance to connect and talk with people who feel or have felt the same. I no longer was isolated in my small part of the world. And I made new friends. It was amazing to see the online global development community talking with and supporting each other. I think online communities are one of the best things about this new digital world we live in.
This is why my online community is just as important to me as my offline one, which I know is still a foreign concept for some.
Feature image from Creative Commons.