Single People Online Together for Friendship, Not Romance: Year 6
The Community of Single People now includes more than 5,800 people from more than 100 nations
Six years ago, in July of 2015, I started an online Facebook group, the Community of Single People, for people who want to discuss every aspect of living single except dating or trying to become unsingle. We gather to share our experiences in every variety — our joys and accomplishments, our challenges and frustrations, our observations and our questions, the latest studies, something intriguing or enraging that showed up in our feeds or in the media, and those experiences that sometimes only single people really “get.”
Most of us are single and happy about it, including a decent number of us who are single at heart, though we come in other varieties, too. We’re decidedly not a “poor me, I’m single” kind of group. Many of us love our single lives and wouldn’t have it any other way. Some who came to the group not so sure about that have become more joyful about their own single life experiences.
We are an engaged community — 72 percent are active members of the group, meaning that in the past 28 days, they have viewed, posted, commented on, or reacted to content in the group. We started online and the vast majority of our discussions stay there, but it is not uncommon for members to post about where they are and ask if anyone wants to meet in person. (Again, for friendship, not romance!) Then sometimes we get to see the photos of their fun times. Some of those meetings have evolved into lasting in-person friendships.
An issue that used to come up in previous years seems to have subsided. We talk about singlism, the ways in which single people are stereotyped, stigmatized, marginalized, and treated unfairly. In the past, some members would jump into those discussions and object to them, and sometimes things would go downhill from there, but that doesn’t seem to be happening much anymore.
Recently, I’ve gotten a few complaints from members noting that some people are trying to initiate discussions of their dating lives and similar topics more suitable to groups of single people who don’t want to be single. I think that happens when we get an influx of new members…