Welcome to Adventures in Connection. If you’re interested in my visits to various co-housing and community projects, feel free to browse the blog posts (It didn’t occur to me to take pictures for my first few visits, because I didn’t originally plan on creating a blog. I’ll do better in the future!). If you’re after a deeper understanding of what I’m writing about and why I’m doing it, please read on!
For a long time now I’ve been interested in alternative ways of living within a community – not just for myself, but for the multitude of disillusioned millennials, isolated elderly folk, and strapped-for-cash students that live in the UK and beyond.
It’s very hard in the society we live in to form true, genuine connections with our neighbours. With the rise of social media it’s easy to connect online, but maybe less acceptable to start chatting to a stranger at a bus stop. We used to meet up with our communities regularly at church on Sundays, but religion is no longer a big part in most people’s lives. Young men and women move out of their parents’ homes at 18 or 19 and often end up living in a different city, or maybe even country, to their parents. Suddenly the parents, often single, find themselves with much less social interaction, which can turn into isolation and loneliness once they reach old age and the family is spread out across the country, with little time to visit.
The need to feel the support of a community is deep-rooted in human nature – it’s one of the main things that gives a sense of purpose, responsibility, and ultimately happiness. I feel that there is a clear connection between the loss of community and the epidemic of depression that appears to be on the rise.
I don’t believe that the solution is to go back to the times when multiple generations of a family lived together, never moving away from their hometown. We’ll most likely never go back to a time when the community is centred around the church, and people have to meet face to face if they want to talk to each other. The world has moved on, and a lot of things have changed for the better. However, our ideas and attitudes towards community need to adapt to the modern world. We have to embrace diversity and globalisation by accepting that family no longer necessarily means the standard man, woman and 2.5 children, with two sets of grandparents. We need to utilise social media to facilitate meet ups and community projects. Society isn’t designed around community anymore, which means we have to actively work harder to intentionally form communities.
Religion is basically a set of beliefs and morals, celebrated and shared within a group of people. With the decline of Christianity in the UK, a lot of people might find it hard to meet and talk to people who share their modern passions and beliefs, instead feeling like they’re alone and unsupported. So this blog has two purposes – one is to document my visits to groups who are combating loneliness and isolation by alternative living arrangements and community projects. The other is to potentially connect groups or individuals who share my beliefs and ideas, and to encourage interaction and inspire activity.
Please feel free to get in touch!