The Value of Community

by | Scrapbooking Ideas | 6 comments

I wasn’t a scrapbooker before there was the Internet, but sometimes I think about those times. I think about how scrapbook stores were the hub of it all, where you could be sure to find a group of like-minded souls congregated on a Friday night. I knew many of them.

Things are different now. There are fewer family-owned stores and more big box chains. And of course, now we have the Internet. And digital scrapbooking and online retailers and…

Whether you’re paper or digital, the Internet now commands a lot of attention from today’s scrapbooker. One could even say that the computer is the #1 tool of the modern memory keeper. From sharing digital photos on Facebook to reading the latest edition of Creating Keepsakes, memory keeping and the Internet are now bosom buddies.

You might think that this shift from in-person scrapbooking experiences to a world inside a small electric box would eliminate the warmth and personal connections.

I would argue that the opposite has occurred.

Today, our Internet scrapbooking community is strong and vibrant. We are able to befriend like-minded souls in places we’ve only dreamed of traveling, sharing stories about life and creativity.

Through words and images we can see others and be truly seen ourselves, in ways that break down barriers and prejudices.

We are able to access inspiration when we need it and learn new skills on demand. We can ask for help and have answers within seconds, not just from search engines anymore, but from real people.

The Internet has facilitated forging new healthy communities that are valuable personally and to society at-large. It has allowed us to reach out and touch someone in new ways that fit the modern lifestyle, to stay connected to scrapbooking and scrapbookers more effortlessly than ever.

What does the online scrapbooking community mean to you? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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  1. donna curran

    Since starting my scrapbooking adventure in 2000 I have made some of the strongest, most enduring friendships of my life that started as internet “friends”. Our families have vacationed together and we have an annual “girl’s weekend” to stay connected. I live on the East Coast and the others all live in mid-west states so our annual “Jamborees” have become very important to our bonding. I would absolutely argue that the internet has not hindered the feeling of community in the least bit but has enhanced it greatly.

  2. Nat

    I grew up in such a small town that when I started scrapbooking close to 14 years ago, there wasn’t even a scrapbook store!

    I think the online community nowadays has helped me grow but still stay true to myself at the same time. I have a non-scrapbooking online community that I belong to and its value cannot be underestimated. I think it’s easy to look at online communities and brush them off as not as valuable but it’s not the case.

  3. Missy

    I miss my local scrapbook store. It closed a few years ago. Getting together for classes and crops was such a bonding experience.

    Digital Scrapbooking has allowed me to make friends as far away as india and some just over an hour away. I too have made friends that I believe just may be friends for life. These people have become a support system and a source of strength in hard times. I believe I spend more time chatting with my digi scrap friends than I do with some of my “real life” friends!

  4. Rebecca

    I always find reading threads about scrapbooking particularly the ones related to the “stress” of scrapbooking, the lack of time, the too many pictures etc. I find the posts both interesting and sad. I always feel sad for those that have become so overwhelmed by our wonderful craft and hobby and I enjoy the tidbits of advice many offer to help contain and conquer those feelings stress and exhaustion. In a moment of reflecting, as a result of the post “The Value of Community” I realized that perhaps, just a little, the closings of the local scrapbook retailer has added to my stress about scrapbooking–not that it is too a point of feeling overwhelmed or behind schedule but my own level of sadness that the time I carved out for myself went by the wayside when the 4 or so retailers in our metro area closed one by one.. Not that my stress over scrapbooking is currently unmanageable, but when those retailers were open, I was able to “escape” my everyday real life stress once a week, gather with like minded souls, pack a project or two that I knew I would finish and be away from home and all the distractions that reside there. Going to a crop was like the opening trailer of “Cheers”, the old TV show–scrappers would arrive and the “Hi Norm” phenomenon was so ever present. And, with a few exceptions, the women who gathered only saw each other at crops–they weren’t neighbors or colleagues in any other realm. In many cases, we didn’t even live in the same zip code, town or region yet we were all friends gathering on Fridays, sharing a passion for scissors, glue and paper….or maybe cherishing our 4-6 hours away from home.
    As I once told my husband, “it’s my round of golf” or at least it used to be. I miss brick and mortar places to gather with like minded creative types but I have enjoyed wandering the web, I guess I need to find a web “home base” and settle in.

  5. Jodie

    I must admit I miss my local scrapbooking shop too. Getting out of the house on a Friday night; ordering in dinner to the shop to share with friends; scrapping away til midnight with anything you needed on hand to buy… it’s just not the same as scrapping at home by myself. I do have “friends” online but it’s not the same.

  6. Shanon

    I admit the internet is handy for getting ideas and information and for shopping….but it doesn’t do anything for me when it comes to actually making scrapping friends. The people online are great, don’t get me wrong. They are friendly, encouraging and have great ideas. But it is not the same as “flesh and blood people” where I can go over to their house for crops and borrow supplies from them. And they are still there for me when my computer crashes and my online experience is limited to what I can do on my phone. I’m sorry. The internet is a great tool….but it can never take the place of “real people.”


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