Social media groups focused on Darlington met at Mama Mia’s

Members of Facebook groups in Darlington met at Mama Mia’s on December 9 to discuss issues. Photos by Jana E. Pye

Members of Facebook groups in Darlington met at Mama Mia’s on December 9 to discuss issues.
Photos by Jana E. Pye

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Residents of Darlington that are on Facebook may recognize two familiar names: “Fix Darlington,” a private profile (one that requires a “friend request”) and the group “Promote the Positive of Darlington” that eschews any negativity.

A social was proposed by Darlington resident, Caroline Dunlap and newly elected council member Bryant Gardner to bring the members of both social media groups together to meet face to face, and discuss issues.

An invitation was sent out via social media, and a group gathered at Mama Mia’s on December 9th at 7 p.m. in an effort to get away from keyboards and meet face to face.

The invitation read:

“Up until now the movements to make Darlington a better place to live have mainly been executed through social media groups. As members of these groups we have shared both the good and the bad of Darlington.

It is now time to come together as citizens and neighbors of this wonderful community for a night of socialization outside of Facebook. There are so many wonderful untapped resources here in our town that holds the power to make it a better place to live; we need to identify and tap into these. While social media is an excellent outlet to share and highlight important information, those personal connections you get through face-to-face contact are often times lost or become misinterpreted in the digital world. This will be an informal social gathering open to citizens who have a desire to get involved and start working towards making Darlington a better place to live, work, and play.

The goal for this first social event it not to come with a long list of complaints or a negative attitude. First and foremost, we want to have fun. While we are having fun, we can work towards getting to know each other and begin to get a feel for positive and negative things going on in our community. From there we can work towards creating solutions to make our city great!”

For the first part of the meeting, nineteen Darlington residents went around the room introducing themselves, and shared with the group their frustrations with the city of Darlington.

Newly elected council member John Milling came after his church service let out, and was joined shortly after by Mayor-elect Gloria Hines, her campaign manager Donald Gilliard, transition team member Jannie Lathan.

Bryant Gardner reminded the group repeatedly that unless they had a solution, he preferred they move on to topics that could be rectified.
Many of attendees left before the meeting ultimately ended at 10 p.m.

Dunlap and Gardner both hope to hold future meetings, and will announce them to the News and Press as well as social media outlets, and encourage more people to attend.

Author: Duane Childers

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