If you are any type of creative, you've probably seen or heard the phrase "community over competition". And while I full heartedly believe in encouraging a community of creative powerhouses versus fearing everyone as competition, that hashtag is a load of bulls***.
Yep, said it.
Here's my beef with it. I'm in a few creative groups, where that phrase is (allegedly) the core and foundation of the group. But from personal experience, it's just a hashtag used to increase exposure.
If you don't mean it, STOP USING IT.
If you're not truly accepting or inclusive, STOP USING IT.
If you're a little bit racist, STOP USING IT.
If you feel like everyone is a threat to you, STOP FREAKING USING IT.
In all the groups I've been in that claim "community", those have been the ones that are the least welcoming, the least supportive, and if I'm being really blunt, the most ethnocentric.
I live in San Diego, real San Diego, not Oceanside, not Clan-tee (Santee for those who don't know) and it's a melting pot of cultures. Growing up, there were five of us and we were best friends who called ourselves "The Spice Girls". Why? because none of us we the same. We were different flavors that each served a purpose and had unique gifts. My four best friends were Mexican (Chile Spice), Indian (Curry Spice) , Asian (Kimchi Spice), and American (we just called her Baby spice lol), and obviously I brought that brown suga. We brought out the best of each other, we encouraged each other, we educated each other, we fought for each other. We were communal, not competitive.
I was in 6th grade when 911 happened, and my Indian friend had her house burned down and her parents beat (almost to death) because they "looked" like terrorists. All of the Spice Girl's families took turns making sure that they were safe. Hosting her family, weekly sleepovers, making sure they got to work / school without any problems. I share that only to say that THAT IS WHAT COMMUNITY DOES.
Kimchi Spice graduated high school at the age of 14 and got early admission into Berkley (make all the Asian jokes you want, she's a genius) and we were all there celebrating at her graduation party. We were overjoyed that she got to skip freggin four years of school. This is what community does.
Baby Spice had it rough during the college years, had a baby, but eventually settled down. Guess who was there for her when she didn't know which way was up? Guess who was also there for her on her wedding day? Guess who immediately brought the tequila when she became CEO?
This is what community looks like. This is what community is supposed to feel like. Being there for each other, celebrating each others victories, comforting and navigating each other in their struggles and embracing each other's differences.
I'm not seeing that in these groups that promote "Community Over Competition". I'm seeing clicks, people being left out, and more drama than anybody has time for. It's upsetting. And I hate it. So if you are anything like me, and feel like you're being more tolerated than accepted, let's grab coffee. If you need help with something, let's grab coffee. If you legit just need someone to talk to... let's grab wine lol.
I don't want anyone to ever feel like that can't be a part of something, because their "community" is not inclusive of them. And I don't ever want anyone to feel like they can't approach me. Why? Because I actually believe in community, it's not just a hashtag for me.