How'll she feel just the same for me as she does now, when we eat o' the same bit, and drink o' the same cup, and think o' the same things from one day's end to another? Just the same? that's idle talk. You'd cut us i' two. (2.19.29)
Proximity here seems to be the main thing that holds a group together. Geography is important to Eliot; she suggests that living near each other is a primary qualification for a community. There's no such thing as an internet community yet—although, in the 1860s when Silas Marner was written, telegraphs had brought the first communication system to England.