Welcome 2019! Using Technology to Build Community

Welcome 2019! What a year the last has been. I've been remiss in writing and I apologize. This year to hold me accountable and ensure that I had ideas, I've decided to set us a theme of technology. Technology is everywhere these days, we carry phones in our pockets all the time and there are smart homes and smart cars and little robots everywhere you go. How can we leverage this abundance to better integrate into lives back at home? What technologies are popular, what does appropriate etiquette look like, how do we stay safe, and when is it best to return to older forms of technology? I intend to help you answer all this and more, if you have other questions!

So on to the first - how do we use technology to better integrate into life at home? I find that this is generally a question of creating and establishing community, so that is the focus of this post.

It may be tempting to use some of the social media we see to post and respond to the same things we did overseas, but technology facilitates communities of interest and means we can also leverage it to find those near us with common or disparate interests and learn from them. Why not use a budding interest in photography to find a like minded community via Instagram - using your photos and those that you like to spark a conversation? Why not use Facebook posts to dialogue and schedule a catch up session in person with someone who is back in the same area you are? While many do use such platforms to curate their lives, this curation can also spark conversation and potentially lead to meetings in unexpected places. As always, this requires a really thoughtful engagement when you are listening to ensure that your presence is something that brings folks back to the conversation.

There also remain communities in things like meetup.com or maybe using internations in your home country to meet expats living in your area. Many folks use their professional community in whatever format to facilitate meetings - happy hours, book clubs, etc. Many of these can be found online.