Everyone lives within many different kinds of communities. Among all the communities I live in, I picked six of them: School (In Class), School (Out of Class), Internet, Host family, Family and Dorm room.
First of all, let’s talk about internet. In this community, language maybe vary, mostly English, sometimes Chinese (while I’m using Chinese IM software). Texts are informal, mostly insider text like: LOL, Ty, WTF (why the face). Common platform is Facebook, twitter and a Chinese IM software called QQ. There aren’t many conventions in this community, because most identities online are hidden. As long as you follow the rules on the internet (no offensive language, no racism, etc.), you can fit in perfectly.
Family, this is the community you are born in. Most of the time, you are speaking in your native language. Greetings to all family members are obligated. In my culture, you may speak informal language with the family member you are familiar with, or the younger members. If you are talking to elder members, especially you are not familiar with, you have to talk formally along with proper greetings. In my family, we always talk about daily interesting things and holiday plans during each meal.
Host family, this kind of community is kind of unique to me, because most people doesn’t experience living in a local family outside of your homeland. Language depends on what country are you going, in my case: English. Just like my family, greetings are obligated. In an American family, language is more casual. Like I can talk to everyone in the family like a friend. Topics are the same, we talk about funny things happened during the day, foods, and future plans. Within this community, we usually “write “to each other in form of cellphone text messages. Sometimes, if I get on a field trip, I will send some postcards back.
In class, it kind of different from the other community. In the other communities, there is no power relations, even in family. But in class, I think professors have higher authority, their words and suggestions are more important. If you can fully adopt disciplines and standards of classes, you can fit in with no problem. Within class, most text includes essays, research paper, lab report and all other forms of formal writing.
On the contrary, outside the classroom is very casual, has very few limitations. We use a lot of informal terms and language when I’m talking to my friends. Topics are about interesting facts, funny stories, or jokes. Most of the time, we literately “text” with each other, cellphone is major way to communicate.
Finally is the dorm room, this is the type of community I haven’t had before. It’s like with friends outside the classroom, but with more restrictions, as known as roommate agreement. This roommate agreement limits the things can be done and cannot be done inside the dorm room. Usually, I don’t really need to text to my roommate, we just talk to each other directly.