Thursday, October 8, 2009

Philosophy of Digital Discipleship, Post 4

Social networking cannot replace face to face relationships, but it certainly should enhance them! That, in a sentence is my take on how relationships and social networking should intersect.

That said, let me bullet a few random (current) thoughts on community, connection and the online social scene. In no particular order...
  1. I CANNOT believe how Facebook has enhanced the relationships in our church (among those on it). There is so much less catch-up to play on Sunday. We know about the exam, the doctor's appointment and the sick kid, and we can check in and pick up from there. I would love to know how many times the words "hey, I saw that on facebook this week" are stated around here on a Sunday morning. (Approx. 1/3 of our Sunday attendance is on Facebook.)
  2. Relationally speaking ... I think that social networking networks need to always be seen as "in addition to" not "instead of". God intends that people engage their senses in relationship. Need some touch! In addition, if body language is such a huge part of communication, we are missing loads of the message online.
  3. Also, no one can be "friends" (in life) with everyone, but you sure can be "friends" (online) with a lot of people. There just are not enough hours in the day. In those cases, it is either be FB friends, or have no connection at all. I choose the former most of the time. You never know what the Lord may be preparing.
I think that the challenge to all of us that hang out online is to find creative and healthy ways for this medium to enhance relationships, produce healthy and life giving connections that honor Jesus. As with anything in life, we need to protect against misuse and find balance.

Next (and finally), I plan to write about excessive use, addiction, and learning some tricks that I have found help one spend less time, for more results.

1 comment:

Andrew Harris said...

love your thoughts on this