So I'm sorta old.
Let me explain.
In the West, I am too young to be Gen X.
I am solidly "Millennial".
In China, I am a "post-80s" (born in the 80s) - to be specific, there is a distinction between pre and post-85(!) So basically I am AN OLD.
But China is a young country, and also - all these terms were defined by MARKETERS (guilty as charged).
This comes up in all a mixed up feelings sort of way. You see, growing up, I was sort of old enough to be in chat groups but never actually was in any. Then I heard about Chinese chat groups (which I was definitely not a part of). That said, I am a part of many WeChat groups, and to me, it seems a bit (in my imagination), like the AOL chat groups of yore - except with less anonymity (a plus, in my book - but perhaps I will never know the sheer liberating joy of pure anonymity).
I've given some thought, living in China, and being plugged into my phone and WeChat, about my various WeChat communities - chat groups - and how in the digital age, they are very much legitimate replacements for offline communities [see: Bowling Alone, a book published in 2000 about the "The collapse and revival of the American community".]
So let's just give a moment to my WeChat communities:
1. TBWA Planning
My company subgroup, for the planning team (formerly 12, currently 11 members after someone was let go for headcount reasons).
2. APG China Official Group
China planner group.
Company group, encompassing Guangzhou and HK offices.
4. TBWA All-Agency
Company group, for Shanghai only.
5. Super DAN
Group for now defunct DAN (Digital Arts Network), through which I was hired.
6. The Great Sticker Archive
A Reddit-like community for sticker lovers. It's a great source of daily amusement and distractions. Makes me feel young, even juvenile. I missed out on Reddit and 4chan, but imagine this is something like being a friend of a friend of a friend of someone deep in one or both of the aforementioned.
7. StartupGrind SH 2
Cuz Shanghai is the newest startup capital, in case you haven't heard!
8. ChicCheer Fashion Community
Started by someone who works in Fashion, I forget already how we met, but it's a big professional community I became associated with during my Jing Daily days.
A spin off of The Great Sticker Archive that somehow has maintained its svelte capacity of under 180 members (compared to the always max 500 of mother group).
10. China Digital Collective
For people who work in digital. Kind of elitist, ultimately informative.
11. Wellesley Shanghai
League of Extraordinary Women, started ironically, by a woman whose many claims to fames include being featured in a student documentary called "Sugar Babies" about 'kept women'/mistresses of the first world - she, when an undergrad at an Ivy League and boasting about how her credit is so amazing she could take out a loan to buy property after her 'stint' as a sugar baby - and now is heading up an org that combats global sexual violence. China, field of dreams.
13. SWC Studio White Collective
Started by an outgoing entrepreneur with creative bent who develops property - his marketing platform (collecting creatives and the creatively inclined) to promote his rent-a-desk office space.
14. Ivy Mixer x Somm
Intercollegiate mixer group.
16. China Culture Club
Started by ex-Beijingers. Mostly promoting cultural events in Shanghai.
17. Tech in China
Enough said, lots of overlap with WeChat4Business, China Digital Council, etc.
18. Wellesley young alum leaders
Just four of us - three young alums and the older alum, an expat here for her fellow expat husband's job.
19. VR+AR=MR + AI +5G
Group for VR, again - overlap.
20. China Digital women
Sister/outgrowth of the "elitist" China Digital Council.
21. Sadie Hawkins
The most personal group - deserves it's own post.
22. Official TEDxShanhai Women
23. WGC (Wellesley Greater China)
24. Ides of Trump
Started by Wellesley alum but not exclusive to Wellesley. Dumping ground for us to share anti-Trump articles and vent in general to an appreciative audience.