Why I Don’t Use the Term “Tribe”

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of retlaw snellac


You’ve just discovered an awesome new blog or a website for a cool YouTuber, and after a few clicks, a javascript window pops up with these words in large letters: JOIN MY TRIBE! Ugh. Every time I see this, I groan. Unless it’s someone I know and I actually want to follow them to keep updated, I usually don’t “join their tribe,” and often I’ll navigate away and never come back.

I’m going to start by saying I don’t have anything against the people who use the word “tribe” to describe their network of followers and colleagues. While it turns me off, I understand the idea that these people want their social network to be more than just a collection of likes and views. For some, a tribe is a good visual representation of what they want their network to be. Who am I to say they’re wrong?

However, I just don’t see you guys that way. To me, a tribe is much more personal. The members of my tribe are the people I would leave my kids with (if I had any). They’re the people I trust to with a spare key to my home. My tribe is my network of family and close friends that I share the personal areas of my life with. They’re the people I love. That’s not you (unless it is … Hi, Mom).

The word “community” has much more meaning to me in the online sphere. When I think of community, I think of Davis (that’s where I live). I think of my church. I think of the people at my work. I think of the people that work together to make my local area a better place to live, work, and raise families. That’s what I want my social network to be like. I want to be in community with you, working together to make the world a better place.

So join my community! Comment on my blog posts, join my mailing list (I seriously haven’t even sent anything out yet; that’s how often I send things), like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I love communities, and I would love for you to be a part of mine (even if you’re crazy; I know and love a lot of crazy people).

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