It’s amazing the literal culture that’s cropped up around vaping. A new culture is born from within a community because how else would that culture come to be? What’s community? One way to look at it is that it’s a group of individuals who are down for the same cause, into the same thing, are a part of something greater than only themselves, which then said larger something binds them together. In that community, those folks have a get down that lets them connect and in the connection have a sense of being a part of something greater, it can even provide an attachment to a purpose. Basically, it is people bonding over a get down where they can share their experiences, love of, and anything else in relation to said what-have-you at the center of their love donut.
And, in speaking of donuts, this is where vaping comes in. Yep, donuts and vaping and community because actually, they do all connect. How you may ask? Well, let me explain.
First off, let me take you back a couple of years when I initially encountered the vaping community. It is, most definitely a community, and it has grown by leaps and bounds, seemingly surpassing the word community however I’m not sure what word is between community and civilization so I’m going to just stick with community for now. To put it mildly, the cloud culture has covered the world.
Back to my foray into vape culture, I remember opening the door to the first vape shop in my ‘hood. There were a couple of people around, one guy was asking a question about a mod, another was perusing a few e-juices, there was definitively no giant, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, cloud enveloping me as I stepped through the threshold. There was some vague blueberry smell in the air but that was it. The dude behind the counter was nice. I wasn’t done with my analog experience yet and held tight to my old ideas and the need to have greater personal expenses, not thinking the per cost thing through. The friend who took me picked up her apple pie e-juice mix and we were out the door.
When I finally decided to ditch the analog and go full on vape, I began talking with people about it. I was totally worried I was going to get that whole “jumping on the bandwagon” attitude and instead everyone I came in contact with was stoked to answer questions, talk e-juice flavors, give me pointers, explain differences between e-cigs, mods, and where to look online for support, get involved on an activist level due to the current political state and vaping, I could go on. Plus, I was getting seriously wholehearted support because I was finally shining on the analogs. Everyone was really kind, warm, and welcoming. I was stunned. I was immediately enveloped into the community.
Next, I hit the world wide interweb and the overflow of information via forums, blogs, vlogs, magazines, in-person conventions, worldwide events, cloud competitions, e-juice mixology recipes, sub ohm coil building instructions, discussions, debates, and so on and so forth, in existence was overly overwhelming.
Now, when I cruise into my local vapicile, i.e. my hangout home away from home, to pick up my favorite flavor, which, by the way, is where the donut action comes in, as in maple bacon donut deliciousness, I feel a total part of. Where there were just a couple of people interspersed through the store quietly eyeing items a couple of years ago, there are now a hearty handful leaning back, all knowing one another’s names, debating aspects of science, e-juice recipes, laughing, talking about vape and non-vape topics alike. It’s a joint rife with regulars hanging out, chilling against countertops, and that has its own vibe as a community within a community feel to it.
That said, there are communities within communities within communities. People have shelved staying solo, isolated, and now are out and about in the world with mods in hand, and when running into another person of the like begin to engage in conversation, with vaping at the start. It’s actually getting people to put their phones away and interact directly. Hallelujah. Will vaping bring back direct person-to-person connection across the board? Who can say but we’ve, thus far, gotten off to a great start.