Finding Joy In Online Communities

July 31, 2021

Welcome to the Finding Joy series! Here I will be sharing activities that help me to find joy in my life despite whatever my current situation may be. My hope is that you can also find joy in your life. Whether it be through any of these activities I share, or hobbies and experiences that you love.

online communities

Growing up I was always extremely adamant about not talking to people online, with good reason obviously. We have all heard the horror stories of people pretending to be someone they’re not online. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that socializing online is okay, as long as it’s done safely. I have discovered the benefits of being in an online community, and that has forever changed my social life. 

I’ve been in a few online communities, but the one I’m going to talk about has had the most impact on me and holds a special place in my heart, The Crew.

At the beginning of 2021, this guy (@crewdoyle) started popping up on my TikTok For You page pretty regularly. I followed him because I thought his content was super fun and I wanted to see more. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but one day I saw that he was live on TikTok and decided to hop in. I remember the vibes being so fun and in the comment section everyone seemed to know most of each other. I found out that Drew actually ran a community through the Discord app and decided to check it out. 

I don’t know what I was expecting when I joined, I think I was mainly just curious because I had never heard of a Discord community, but I wasn’t expecting the amount of love, acceptance, and friendship that I have received. It took me a little while to warm up to everyone and get adjusted to the different components of the server, but once I did I was all in. I have grown so much in the seven months, at the time of this being published, that I have been in the group. There are so many reasons why I love this Crew Community. Here are some of my favorite reasons.

The Encouragement I’ve Received

I’ve gone through many low moments this year. It’s honestly been one of the toughest years I’ve had in a while. Anytime I’ve expressed that I was going through a tough time, upset that I didn’t get a job, or have just had a bad day, I’ve been met with so much love and encouragement from so many people. Just a few minutes in the Discord community and things felt a little better, if not completely.

This has even happened when I don’t express what I’m going through. Whether it be a random funny gif that gets shared, or someone taking the time to get to know me better and ask about my day, little things like that have also turned my day around.

It’s One Of The Only Places Where I’ve Felt I Can Be 100% Myself

Because this is a place filled with people from all around the world from different backgrounds, interests, careers, etc. I’ve been able to be fully myself and find something in common with at least one person in the discord. I’ve been able to bond over my Taylor Swift obsession, music, job search struggles, how I feel about being single, and so much more. It has been the best feeling knowing that no matter what there is someone there who gets me.

The Memories Made

If the daily conversations weren’t enough, I’ve also been able to make some memories with The Crew. I’ve participated in so many fun events and hung out via Video/Voice chat with some great people. Some of my favorites have been game nights, the Friends Reunion Watch Party, a listening party to Fearless (Taylor’s Version) the night it was released, and the twitch stream where we celebrated Drew’s two year Twitch anniversary. So many great times, and much more to come.

I’ve Felt Inspired So Many Times

Being able to see, and hear about, Drew and others in the Discord pursuing their passions has lit a fire under me to figure out the dreams I want to pursue. There have been many motivating and inspiring conversations that I’ve gotten to hear that have made me think and reflect. I don’t think I would have had the courage to publish my own journals and continue to publish YouTube videos if I wasn’t in this online community.

The Friendships Formed

Like I said earlier, I didn’t know what to expect when I joined this discord server. I know I didn’t expect to make so many friends. Growing up I never had many friends. It’s been hard trying to make lasting friendships as an adult because of this. This community has helped me come out of my shell more. Normally my family are the only ones that have experienced my goofy side. I don’t know why it’s so hard to be my complete self around others, but the Discord has changed that. Since I’m able to loosen up more I’ve allowed myself to start making friends easier. I’m excited to see how I’ve grown socially a year from now in this group.

Photo created by Emily Bresnahan

To close this post out, I just wanted to speak to some people in the Crew directly.

Drew, if you are reading this: I’ve told you this before, but thank you so much for your vision to create the Crew Community. Your encouragement and drive inspire me so much. The community you have created has truly changed my life. Whether or not you know it, you have taught me so much about life, going after your dreams, and so much more. I’ve loved getting to know you and being a part of the amazing place you created. Keep shining your light and following your passions, you are changing so many people’s lives.

To everyone involved with building up the discord and making it the place that it is, if you’re reading this: I’m so appreciative of everything yall do. Your dedication and work does not go unnoticed. This community has lifted me up on so many of my bad days through the different events, fun emotes, and conversations that happen regularly. I know a big part of all of that is because of you. So thank you!

To everyone that I’m lucky enough to call my friend in the discord, if you are reading this: I can’t express how grateful I am to know you all. All of the conversations we’ve had and memories we’ve made have meant so much to me. I know I can be a little quiet sometimes but I hope you know how much I love you all. It’s never been easy for me to let loose and open up but you have made it feel easier. I’m coming more out of my shell everyday and that is because of you.

Joining the Crew community has been one of the best things that has happened, not only this year, but in my life overall. I have definitely found joy in this beautiful place.

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