An online community for everyone

Given my job description and previous work experience, there’s obviously something that’s always drawn me to social media.

Sure, I do preach that a break from technology is necessary every once and a while, but when it comes down to it, the internet is, and always will be, a huge part of my life.

One thing that draws me most are the communities that have been created online, uniting people with similar interests from all over the world — even niche interests. For example, I recently discovered the online community called Hiking with DogsIMG_20141001_161533.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Ellen, you’ve become a crazy dog lady.” Well, you’re right. But it turns out that crazy dog ladies like me exist all over the world, and post just as many pictures of their dogs in the woods and on top of mountains as I do.

On Facebook, users post photos of their most recent hikes with their furry friends on a daily basis and talk to each other about gear, their experiences, how to get weird bugs off of their dogs and whatever else you could possibly think of. There are almost 5,000 members sharing their photos — recently from Wyoming, Colorado and Scotland (putting my Pennsylvania views to shame).

And there are niche communities for people to join all over the net. Fitness guru? There are hundreds of online-community pages. Love to cook? Make it thousands. It’s an interesting thing about social media — that it brings so many people from so far away together.

Look around. Use keywords like “hiking,” “fashion,” or “skiing” to find pages and posts from users of shared interests on social networks. You’ll especially find luck on Facebook and Pinterest. Join, post and make new cyber-friends.

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