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Relational Architecture -6- Belonging

We all want to belong to something.  We want to associate with people who are like us and we want them to accept us.  We want the identity we get by being “in”.

Last week, I talked about Community.  Community is when people with similar interests are given opportunity to talk.  Belonging is one step further.  Belonging is when those people begin to have both a group identity, and the individuals in the group consider that group an extension of themselves.6 - Belonging

It happens so quickly and naturally.  When boarding and airplane, if you are in Seating Group 3, suddenly you are nodding to others in Group 3 who have to wait with you.  Those people in Seating Group 2 are probably think they are special and you are just glad that you are not of of “those people” who are in Seating Group 4.  A casual label becomes and identity very quickly.

“Tribes” (as Seth Godin calls them) form given the slightest opportunity.  If we have a cause or mission or product, we need to be intentional… we need to architect our social media presence in a way that makes it easy for people to belong with us.  Social media provides us with an opportunity for creating this sense of belonging in ways that our society has been starving for.

Is that belonging good or bad or even effective?  That can be debated, but that drag towards grouping and belonging is there.  If we are creating an online presence, we need to be aware of it.