No matter how much we stage our lives in the digital arena, we are still grounded by the room that we sleep in, the house where we live, and, ultimately, the community we call our home.By Guilian Sencio
When you hear the word community, what comes to mind?
In the digital age, community can mean a group of people who like similar things that convene to exchange ideas and interact with each other—be it your football friends who regularly meet in your city to play a game and maybe get a drink afterward, a buy-and-sell chat or Facebook group, or perhaps a huge global community of Minecraft players over discord, and maybe even your auntie’s Facebook gardening group.
The community, however, that we may have overlooked is the community that surrounds us and our homes. No matter how much we stage our lives in the digital arena, we are still grounded by the room that we sleep in, the house where we live, and, ultimately, the community we call our home.
Even our economic lives are very location-based. We usually go to the grocery, barbershop, or restaurant nearest us.
Be it in a condominium, townhouse, or village, we are surrounded by our neighborhood and the people that live in it with us. As much as we’ve recently forgone our relationships with our neighbors due to social interaction in the digital world, then lockdown presents a great opportunity to reconnect with the very people who are just around us.
COVID is not the only epidemic happening during the lockdown. There is also an epidemic of loneliness and isolation.
Relationships in one’s neighbourhood and community can be rich, varied, and diverse; friendships, family relations, old acquaintances, lovers past and present, a barber or hairdresser who you’ve grown to talk to every week, and even personnel & staff you always greet in the morning, or maybe your afternoon badminton posse.
As much as the beauty and potential of the people and relationships in your neighbourhood are there, the quality and frequency of the experience will heavily rely on your willingness and initiative to make the most of the social and economic opportunities your neighbourhood has to offer.
How do I participate in my community?
With economic activity comes social interaction; especially if the transactions are getting frequent! Don’t forget to ask your neighbours how their day was, what the current events are in the community, or perhaps invite them for regular jogs and exercise.
If your kids loved their home-baked cookies, you better tell them! They are going to appreciate the gesture, we promise! A kind word to our neighbours will never go wrong.
When you see a neighbour selling their goods or services, do your best to support their hard work by trying them out! Who knows, you might just discover that the auntie down the street makes the best casseroles on earth.
Deriving Value from my community
As they say, it takes two to tango. So while your asking how their day was going, why not invite them for social activities that can be done within the neighbourhood? If you know of a fitness instructor in your village, you can organise a weekly yoga or calisthenics routine for your village friends.
Take the opportunity to build strong friendships and worthwhile acquaintances in your community.
Selling is no easy task! But if you do it within the comfort and convenience of your neighbourhood, you will find that your market there is much more willing to buy from you since you are (1) nearer, (2) more trustworthy as a neighbour, and (3) potentially cheaper compared to other options.
You will also notice that when you have created a solid market and group of loyal customers within your community, a steady stream of income can be expected. And expect even more sales and turnover when you effectively saturate your neighbourhood market. It will be up to you to nurture and cultivate that community of loyal friends and customers around you.
Your community is a rich treasure trove of friendships that are waiting to blossom and economic opportunities you can cultivate. Now, with these tools and resources, together with the Hyperlokal platform, be confident in putting yourself out there to experience the world that is just around the corner.