Just another clique

Human society nowadays has a lot of groups. A group has both an inside and an outside; even if you define a group as people who are included, you also define people who are excluded.

I suspect a lot of people take pride in their groups, without realizing how much exclusion is implied. For example, many ravers supposedly follow a credo summarized “Peace, Love, Unity and Respect“, but this only applies to people within their own group—people who know where raves are, how to dance, and all the social cues that allow to be considered part of the in-group. Similarly, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” helps Lady Gaga fans feel accepted and better than everyone else.

Another good example comes from computing; if you buy an Apple computer, you’re buying an idea of style, coolness, a culture of elites. If you a buy a Windows computer, you’re buying…a computer. (And don’t even get me started on Linux.)

If you’re responsible for creating or administrating a community, it might be worthwhile to spend some time considering…What are you doing to help people become part of the community? What are you doing to let outsiders know they’re allowed to become part of it? Are you just another clique?

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