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The Role Of Social Media In Finding An Online Community

The Role of Social Media in Finding an Online Community

Post Series: Belong: Community

Online communities are fast becoming the most popular type of community in the world today. Their importance has become even more prominent as social media apps have integrated groups and community features into their networks.

In 2022, WhatsApp introduced Communities, as an upgraded version of Groups to facilitate people’s connection in relevant groups. During the lockdown in 2020, Facebook Groups’ usage increased significantly with 1.8 billion people using them in a month to stay connected.

Online communities such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook groups have connected people from different locations based on common interests. You can find groups for almost any topic, such as news, politics, business, technology, movies, and music. There is most likely a group, channel, or subreddit for even the most random topics you can think of.

Why Are Online Communities Important?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the role of social media in finding and building online communities.

According to a Global Web Index survey, social media usage rose by 10.5% in July 2020, and in 2023, it was reported that 59.4% of the total population uses social media, with an average of 4 new users every second. The report further showed that 47.1% of social media users use it to stay in touch with friends and families.

Social media, therefore, is increasingly becoming a major part of our lives. Many young people turn to social media or community groups for comfort, support, fun, and guidance in their lives.

Social media, despite its vices, is still a powerful tool for finding information. In schools, for example, students create Whatsapp groups to support each other with their studies. Students can save time and effort by posting their questions on these groups and receiving almost immediate responses, instead of searching through pages of results.

For business owners or career professionals, such groups help them get professional advice. It can also help them create new networks they can leverage immediately or in the future.

Online communities allow people to connect without the need for physical meetings. While physical interactions are very important, they can be difficult to maintain due to distance, schedules, and other factors beyond anyone’s control. With online interactions, however, anyone can connect with anyone with the push of a button. In other words, you can get the support you need without needing a physical meeting.

How to Find The Right Community on Social Media

The absence of restrictions on social media makes community building easy, but it also creates a dangerous environment due to the lack of boundaries.

In the current age of endless scrolling, social media influencers, and algorithms, it is very easy to get distracted or get caught up in the rat race of acquiring more followers, likes, and comments. This has led to a lot of social media users showing completely different lives online in a bid to attract more attention.

Sadly, this has resulted in major concerns regarding the nature of social media users. Someone could ask, “How do I know if this person is real, to be able to build a connection with him or her?” Someone else could ask, “How do I know whom to trust on social media?”

While it is difficult to answer these questions satisfactorily, it is important to understand that the law of attraction also works on social media. The law states that you attract what you focus on. The content you post, consume, and engage with on social media affects the content and people you attract to the platform.

This is the foundation of the recommendation systems most social media networks make use of. Social media platforms create a digital profile for you by recommending content based on your past activities in order to keep you engaged on the network. You can control your social media experience by following specific people and interacting with certain posts, which can be helpful and unhelpful. And what you see as a result is simply the sum total of your own social media habits.

Therefore, finding the right community on social media starts with you defining the person you want to be online.

How do you define the person you want to be online?

  1. Your social media handle and bio should reflect your values and what you believe in. Many people overlook the importance of their social media handle and bio. However, this is probably the first thing other users will see when they get the opportunity to view your profile. This way you can either attract or repel someone with the values you are looking for.
  2. Follow the right people. “Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are” is a proverb that is as old as time itself. Yet a lot of people think that it only applies to physical friendships but this is not correct because it also applies to online relationships. Your social media feed reflects the type of person you are, based on the people you follow. By going through your friends’ list (which is public by the way), other social media users can draw their conclusions about who you are.
  3. Be intentional about your time on social media. Brands are often advised to create a list of accounts they admire and engage with through liking and commenting on their posts. In doing so, other people would get to notice them and go to their profiles to learn more about them. It’s not just about online brands, but also about creating meaningful connections through purposeful commenting. At the last Remnants event on Instagram, Obakam Tom-George revealed that she landed a job by commenting on a post. To find the right community, it’s important to be mindful of what you say and where you say it.
  4. Disagree without hurting people. The internet introduced a new and more dangerous form of bullying, cyberbullying. UNICEF defines cyberbullying as using digital technologies to repeatedly scare, anger, or shame someone. Many times, these behaviors originate from disagreements between people with different opinions. It is fine for different people due to their different backgrounds and origins, to have different opinions on an issue. A lot of times, it does not make one right or the other wrong. Such disagreements, if properly harnessed can open the eyes of the individuals involved to brand-new perspectives they never imagined. And where they are not properly channeled, could end relationships before they can kick off.

Social media has removed obstacles to accessing life-changing new relationships. However, it can also create new challenges and obstacles if it is not properly used.

Furthermore, while online communities are beautiful, they can be further strengthened when combined with physical meetups and hangouts.

Let me know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to share this with someone.


Every man has a purpose in life. Ours is to help people discover, rediscover and fulfill their purpose. We believe that the young generation are the building blocks and foundation of the next new thing the world is about to experience.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Very interesting read.

    I think when it comes to social media, you cannot really tell who a person is, so being intentional about what you’re consuming from them is important.

    It’d also help to remember that a person’s social media is a well curated story they want to share.

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