Isn’t it strange, how the internet changes our offline life? I’ve moved into my neighborhood (Capitol Hill in Washington DC – also called “parentville”, because the baby-less are a small minority) a year and a half ago. And while I enjoyed the fact that people great you on the street right away, I didn’t feel like I was part of a neighborhood, I just lived in a house that was located in this area of town.
Now since I joined the majority (read: since I had my baby), I have also joined an online parenting group for this neighborhood, MOTH (Moms on the Hill) and that made all the difference. Through the listserve I learn about lost teddy bears and dogs, free baby stuff on the porch, about burglaries and yard sales in my neighborhood and all of a sudden have 3000 mommy and daddy “friends” that I can ask for advice when my baby doesn’t sleep through the night and that I can invite for “home office blues lunch” if I’m missing the company of office mates. And since I am on this list, I do feel like I am at home in this neighborhood and I meet people I know (from the list) when baby and I go for walks.
I find it fascinating, how on the internet geographical origin explicitly does not matter but still it can help to develop something so extremely location specific as a neighborhood. Do you have similar experiences, where online and offline enrich each other?