The Importance of Building Successful Communities
We discuss why connecting with the people around us will become increasingly crucial in years to come
Since the beginning of the information age, human beings have become more and more dependent on the internet, and as a result, the ways we interact with one another have shifted.
In fact, 62 percent of Generation Y and 64 percent of Generation X prefer to text rather than speak on the phone.
Additionally, as of 2017, daily social media usage of global internet users amounted to 135 minutes per day, up from 126 daily minutes in the previous year.
Statistics like these show just how much people are turning to their devices to connect with the people around them. Unfortunately, these numbers also demonstrate how real, face-to-face interactions are becoming less frequent.
To emphasize this point, it’s worthwhile to consider the fact that 60 percent of people admit to feeling disconnected from others when they are on their phone, and 88 percent of people have felt disconnected at dinner because of people they are eating with using their phone.
Numbers like these can be surprising, especially since the Internet should (in theory) be bringing people together and making them feel closer to other whom they would not be able to communicate with if not for the world wide web.
Additional surprising facts about the current state of connectedness in our world include:
40 percent of Americans say they “lack companionship,” their “relationships aren’t meaningful,” and that they feel “isolated from others.”
Researchers have proven that having strong social support is a key factor in treating depression.
The number who say they have no one outside of their immediate family to discuss important matters with has more than doubled, reaching a shocking 53.4 percent — up 17 percent since the dawn of the Internet and social media.
So, how exactly does community building address these concerns? And what are some proven methods for establishing stronger ties with the people around us?
These are the hard-hitting questions we’ll be addressing in today’s blog.
Here Are 3 Benefits of Belonging to a Community:
1. Improved Overall Health
Part of why strong communities are important directly relates to how they make us feel, not just emotionally but physically as well.
In fact, a strong sense of belonging has been proven to:
Lower the prevalence of mental health issues
Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease
Lower the rates of unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, not exercising, and drinking too much alcohol
Additionally, another study has shown that people with adequate social relationships have a 50 percent greater survival rate compared with individuals with poor social relationships.
Thus, the quality and longevity of our lives truly do depend on the depth and strength of our human connections.
2. More Opportunities For Personal Growth
One of the best aspects of building communities where members support one another and are bonded by a set of common goals is how each individual can benefit.
When people look out for each other’s best interests, individuals feel more capable and motivated to chase their personal ambitions.
One great example of this is communities that make free public libraries available to their citizens. It has been shown that among young adults (14–24 years of age) in households below the federal poverty line, 61 percent used public library computers and Internet for educational purposes, while 54 percent of seniors living in poverty do the same.
Thus, it’s no wonder that almost two-thirds of adult Americans say that closing their local library would have a major impact on their community.
The more communities come together to offer programs, services, and support, the more likely it is that their citizens will success professionally, educationally, and personally.
These programs, services, and supports come in a range of forms, from sports programs, to local food banks, to adequate health services.
3. Highlighted Inclusivity
Inclusivity is one of the most essential keys to building a successful community. When properly provided, inclusivity makes it possible for the basic needs of all individuals to be met – regardless of race, age, income, disability, or other differentiating factors.
This is critical when you consider the fact that 53 percent of kids with disabilities reporting feeling as though they have no friends, or that 42 percent of Muslims with children in K–12 schools report that their child has experienced bullying.
Thankfully, though, according to a report by Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, communities that are committed to promoting inclusion and equity and reducing racism and discrimination, experience an increased sense of cohesiveness and belonging. They also experience enhanced safety and security, and there is greater and more diverse involvement with the institutions and processes of community life.
These benefits are felt by all members equally, which results in a more engaged, happy, and driven community as a whole.
How CommuniBee Can Help
CommuniBee is a community based app that has been specifically designed and developed to make building communities easier and more convenient.
Our app makes it easier for people to experience the benefits of belonging to a community, connecting them with an expansive local business directory, a real-time community event calendar, community-based discussion forums, and more.
Some of the Benefits of CommuniBee Include:
Keeping people aware of upcoming local events
An easy to use, integrated event system
Increased awareness of local amenities
Convenient and effective promotion of community businesses
Built-in eCommerce system for purchasing memberships and tickets
The Advantage of Apps for Community Building
When you compare community based apps to other, traditional methods of community building, the benefits become more and more evident.
We encourage you to read our “3 Compelling Reasons to Swap Your Community Bulletin Board for a Mobile App” post to gain a more in-depth understanding of what an app can add to your community building strategy.