Small Town Entitlement

When we first moved to our new homestead I promptly joined all the local community pages on Facebook to be involved. I wanted to know what was going on in town, how to get involved in community events and also start broadcasting our products to the community as well.

Big mistake.

It had been almost 8 years since I lived in a small town and I had forgotten what people were like. Unfortunately the ones who use the Facebook page are even worse.

I have never met such an entitled, whiny group of people since I lived with my parents in Saranac.

Basically, the city of Portland is all suburbs. Most of the people are transplants from the capital of Michigan, Lansing. That means that they bring their entitled, city manners with them. So today was a giant cluster-f**k of people complaining about a store locking it’s doors 5 minutes before close. Yesterday was how the local school put all their children in danger because they had one broken pipe in the 3rd grade bathrooms. The day before that it was the city not plowing fast enough to their liking.

The other side of that coin is the cheapness and customer-blaming in local businesses. I worked at a local grocery store and they refused to hire anyone over 20 hours a week to avoid giving their employees health insurance. You were also punished for not clocking out early (but you were still expected to work). Then all the business owners around here blame the customers for their business going under. There are literally 7 salons in this town. It’s the owners fault for opening another salon.

Needless to say, I’ve left the groups. I just can’t stand all the negativity constantly.

 

Anyway, I just found all this really interesting. So I thought I would share.

There have been other issues that I may talk about later, but I’m worried about it getting read here, so I’ll leave it until later.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Despite the fact that I run a dozen or so Facebook groups myself, I think Facebook groups and other internet groups can be problematic for creating real community. They have their place and can be really nice for certain things, but they also have their downside, one being people getting overly negative and obsessed over small issues like you describe. Another bad one is people being nastier to people than they would ever dream of in a face to face interaction. Something about interacting with a screen removes people’s ability to feel compassion for those they are speaking with. I’ve been guilty of this myself.
    I think the business thing is a problem everywhere, even with huge companies. They have no loyalty to their employees, and just try to get maximum work out of them for the least possible compensation, and then CEOs sit around complaining that no one has loyalty to companies. Yeah, I’ going to be loyal to a company that works me 50 hours a week for low pay and shit benefits, just to get fired a few months before I get vested so you can hire a kid right out of college because they are cheaper, and do the exact same thing to them eventually. Right. 😒
    It sounds like your community can be tough sometimes. I hope you can find your people there soon!

    1. I hope we can find more like-minded people as well. We chose our homestead, not the community, but I had hopes for it because it tries to be trendy. We’ve got a craft mini-brewery and a couple art galleries. But the longer we stay here, the more the undertone of the community comes out. It’s really uptight and exclusionary. Not what I would have picked if I had chosen community instead. Basically it’s a bunch of snobby white people with big city jobs.

  2. Widdershins says:

    1 – What Rockingthehomestead said! 🙂

    2 – Most online groups tend to slide into snide faster than you’d think possible. I never had much time for time for them anyway, so no great loss there.

    3 – “communities’ are made up of all sorts of ‘sub-communities’ each with their own agenda, some of whom will rock with you and some who will throw rocks at you. It’s a question of finding like-minded folk and slowly forming your own community.

    I’ve lived in all sorts of places on three continents and I’ve never come across community that I could fit into without adjustments on both sides.

    A question that comes to mind is, what do you want from a community, what do you expect from it, (not necessarily the same thing) and what are you giving back. But most importantly how much time do you have for it?

    Bit of a segue here … there’s a guy in Ontario who been homesteading for quite a while. Check out his blog, (if you don’t already) have a chat, at the very least. His main focus is off-the-grid-ness, but he knows his stuff. Worth a shot? http://www.cammather.com/blog

    As with all things, your mileage may vary. 🙂

    1. I guess when I moved here I expected at least a small part of the community to be open to what we are doing. Unfortunately we found the opposite to be true. We moved into a community of big-city commuters and “do it the way grandpa did it” farmers. We’re definitely the odd ducks here.
      I want people to be open to what we do and maybe even be a part of it. One of my plans was to help the more unfortunate people in our community with our excess harvest, but now I’m finding that our community has had poverty driven out of it by force instead of trying to fix the problem. It’s very strange to me.

  3. foxtaylor says:

    It’s very similar here on Gabriola. There is a strong, small, arts and back-to-the-land community here and just about everyone is willing to help out others when they need it. Lots of free cycling and plant sharing, etc. BUT there is definitely a darker side to the Facebook groups as well, small communities of people with lots of time on their hands = complaining. Complaining about everything! We had the community whipped up into a frenzy nearly turned witch hunt when someone accidentally ran over a wild turkey in the dark and left the body on the side of the road. We now call it Turkeygate. There was outcry when the telephone poles were painted to look like giant pencils because one or two people were upset that they “weren’t consulted” ha. Someone drove their car through a meadow of wild flowers and it was like the world was coming to an end. And, perhaps specific to our island lifestyle, anyone who dares to utter the word bridge will open the floodgates to a pro-bridge and anti-bridge battle to the death. That all said, there is an upside that I love; if you need something the community provides. When our dog suddenly hurt her back and I posted asking if anyone has a playpen we could buy I had one 2 hours and $20 later. If we ever have something we no longer need we simply post a picture with the word “free” and someone will gladly come and repurpose it. When our dog ran away scared on a walk one day the entire community was out looking for the 3 days it took to get her back. There’s definitely good and bad, and the bad can be really nauseating, but sadly I think that’s just human nature. I definitely agree with the above commenter about people being a lot nastier online than in real life, and that’s too bad. I have to try really hard to turn a blind eye… but sometimes it’s kind of fun to sit back and sip my tea while the comments roll in hahaha

    1. That sounds like something I would tell people back home (the bridge debate and Turkeygate)! They seem sort of humorous, but at the same time, I’m sure it get’s old.
      I did leave the community page online and I’m definitely happier that I’m off of it. I guess I’ll see if they can grow up before I go back there. But I agree too that people are nastier online. I’m not sure what it is about it, but all the filters are turned off when people are on there.

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