August 15, 2018

Virtual Communities of Mutual Support

Any time a person wishes to stand in opposition to mainstream ideas, it is essential to also have a community for mutual support. So it is with those opting out of mainstream consumerism through voluntary simplicity.

How many North Americans have quit consumerism? It is hard to say, but one study found that only 3% of Americans meet the basic qualifications for living a "healthy lifestyle", and I imagine that living simply and living a healthy lifestyle are somewhat related.

Suffice it to say, the percentage of citizens that consider themselves as engaging in voluntary simplicity is tiny (but growing). That makes mutual support even more important.

Such support takes many forms. Like hugs, for example. But the form I would like to highlight are virtual communities of mutual support (not that there is anything wrong with hugs). 

Blogs are one example, and one that has been very important for me and Linda. In our quest to offer support through the Not Buying Anything blog, we have found support, and we appreciate being able to both give and receive help here.

Another virtual community of mutual support that I have been involved in is Reddit. There are a seemingly infinite number of different kinds of groups to be found there, but my favourite is r/simpleliving.

I participated in this community a few years ago when it was still in its infancy, and I was starting this blog. The two went together well at that moment in my writing, and my practice of simplicity, and I still check in from time to time.

When I initially became involved, the group had 309 subscribers (or members), and the moderator that originally started the group had just quit. I took it over, and helped moderate the small group of consumer resisters that wished to help each other out while celebrating the joys of the simple life. 

After a while, the numbers began to grow.

Since I took over as moderator in 2010, the number of subscribers has grown from 309 to over 126,000 simple souls celebrating their shared passion for authentic living outside mainstream consumerism. What a pleasure it has been to see this group grow over the years.

There is strength in numbers, and in being organized, and in being a strong support for each other. After I stepped aside as moderator after a few years, a group of excellent people took over and continued to improve the community to the point where it is today.

For some good discussion, practical ideas, and a supportive community, I recommend you check it out at:

If we are going to get the Simple Living Revolution fully out of the box, we are going to have to stick together and help each other out in any way we can.

Virtual communities of mutual support are one way to make that happen. 

Thank you for your participation in building Not Buying Anything into one such community. We are coming up to 2 million page views! That is a lot of support, and it gives me hope.


  1. Thank you for starting NBA - it has been a wonderful virtual hub of beautiful ideas on living and enjoying the world, simply. I hope it continues for a long time to come!

    1. Erin,

      We hope you continue with us for a long time.

  2. I read this when you first published it last week. I went to the Reddit site you linked and hung out there about 2 hours! Loved it! Some inquiring minds with intelligent things to say. Didn't have time to get back over here and comment. I hadn't read much of anything on Reddit. Nice to know you are involved there. I'll try and remember to check in occasionally.

    1. Terri,

      There is a lot on the r/simpleliving site. Easy to spend a lot of time there. Good people, good ideas.


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