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Local Facebook Groups and Pages

Providing a wealth of information if you are new to the area

The banner photo for the Pacific Northwest Explorers Facebook Page. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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I have to admit, I am a local Facebook Groupie and by that I mean I belong to a variety of local groups and pages on Facebook. In fact, one of the first pages I joined when I moved here was JBLM Families, which is run by the publishing company of The Ranger and Airlifter newspapers, and this fine magazine. It has great information about the local area and things of interest to military families while providing a space to connect.
Here are some tips on finding pages and groups:

  • Get added to your neighborhood Facebook page. These groups are usually closed or secret groups or pages. Closed means you can find it in "search" but you have to be vetted to join. A secret group will not show up in "search" and another member will have to ask the admin to add you. Most military housing neighborhoods on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) have a page or group. Just ask your neighbor. I found my neighborhood page so helpful while living on post. For example, if the cable goes out. You can find out if it is just your home or the whole neighborhood. I also love the traffic tips.
  • There are many options that can help you connect to the JBLM community. Type in JBLM and a variety of choices will pop up. The JBLM official Facebook page and JBLM MWR are both good resources. One of my favorites is Travelers from JBLM, a great group that loves to explore the local area. It is a closed group, so you will have to ask to join, but it is a simple process. There are a couple of writers and bloggers in the group that love to travel, so there is always something fun listed to do. I've lived in the area for five years and I still find new things I haven't explored.
  • Clubs usually have a page or group. I love the Lewis Community Spouses' Club because in addition to their main page, there is a page for each SubClub. This is a great way to meet new friends you can connect with over similar interests.
  • Although not local, I have also utilized some great pages and groups pertaining to retirement and using the GI Bill. Usually someone you know will recommend one that pertains to your situation, which was how I joined both.

Facebook can be a great way to connect but also use common sense and follow good social media safety. Be careful what you post. Never give your password to anyone. Don't post personal information like your email or phone number in your profile. Never post that you will be away from home, or your exact location. Don't agree to meet someone you don't know unless in a public place. Most administrators are pretty good at vetting their groups and pages, but if you read anything suspicious or that makes you uncomfortable, report to the administrator and to Facebook. So when you move to a new area, reach out via Facebook and you will soon be a local expert yourself. 

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