The Magic of the Nerd Community
Last night, when I signed onto Facebook, I was met with a surprise that I’d been added to a group called Adult Nerdfighters. My initial reaction came in two parts: 1) I sighed and shook my head and wondered why on earth Facebook had made it so people can just up and add their friends to groups, and 2) Holy Nerdfighters, Batman, this is AWESOME!
The group had only been up for a short while, but already there were more comment threads than I could see, and people were commenting at such a rate that I couldn’t keep up. People were talking everything from locations to colleges to what age exactly constitutes an “adult” anyway. I saw several people who I know from HPA staff or other Harry Potter endeavors. People were jumping into conversations with each other at a rate that was almost unbelievable–or, at least, would have been unbelievable if I hadn’t been familiar with the Nerdfighter community for a few years. Everyone was celebrating that John Green had created a group just for us adult Nerdfighters who wonder if we’re just too old for the community.
Here’s a hint. We’re not.
All throughout today, my Facebook notifications were bombarded by comments from this group. People I’d never met before were liking things I’d said. Strangers were continuing conversations for 100+ comments on a thread. By this afternoon, we’d gotten past the basic topics and had delved into the fun stuff–NaNoWriMo, LeakyCon, social media usernames. Not long after that, the documents started showing up, because the comments had just gotten too cluttered to keep up.
Not even twenty-four hours and any outsider who saw this group would assume that these thousands of people had been friends for ages. Or, at the very least, met in person.
This, in my opinion, is the most magical part of our communities right here. Nerdfighteria, HPA, most of the fandoms. Perhaps it’s due to the Internet and the communication it offers, perhaps it’s due to the general nature of these communities, but generally if you jump into a conversation or a Facebook group or a Ning or a forum that contains one of these groups, you’re very likely to be welcomed with open arms. Within hours you’ll have a hundred new friends, some on the opposite side of the world. By the next day, you’ll be fighting sleep deprivation because you stayed up too late talking to these people. And then when you’re planning on going by yourself to something like, say, LeakyCon, you’ll know that there will be several others going alone as well and you can meet up and hang out.
There’s a lot to be said for our little Internet communities. And it’s refreshing to know that, even as worldsuck tries to take over everywhere else, at least we have these happy little communities to keep it at bay.