For those of you who don’t know, I’m a dedicated babywearer (meaning I wear my children in baby carriers.) I take it way beyond convenience and straight into hobbyist territory. I even run my local group with the help of some other wonderful women, and we’re all trained babywearing educators.
What fascinates me is the sheer number of Facebook Groups dedicated to babywearing, and how many of us are quite literally in 10 or more groups. There are probably at least a couple hundred groups. How many passionate babywearers can there possibly be? Tons!
So, why are we all so into these communities over something that seems so practical and common-sense?
- Culture. We live in a culture that isn’t particularly child-friendly, where they’re treated as property instead of people. Babywearing communities focus at least as much on the people we’re raising as the wraps we carry them in.
- Friendships. Many people are the only babywearers in a very stroller-centred city. It can feel a bit isolating so it’s nice to connect with like-minded parents.
- Shared Interests. Who else will geek out with us over a love of textiles?!
- Insider Info. Nobody wants anyone outside the community to know how much we’ve sent on our collections (known internally as “stashes.”)
- Language. There’s a whole language of short-forms and acronyms. Do you know what HJBC, reverse half-buckle, and DRS2S stand for? Neither does anybody else outside the community.
Every niche community has those things in common. I’m also a fairly dedicated metalhead and musical theatre geek, and they have their own unique insider feel as well.
What you have to remember is that no community is private, much like social media in general. We get so comfortable with people whose names we see again and again on our feeds—but you can’t guarantee your information will remain private. It can feel like these friendships are genuine, but anyone can get in, so sharing confidential details of your personal relationships or work life can end in disaster.
So pull up a chair, get comfy, and meet your new BFFs! There’s a niche community out there for everyone.
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