+/- for Community

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community.  As I read Making Room for Life, I am realizing that being a part of a community has changed over the years.  Community used to be a close-knit group of neighbors or friends that were like extended family.  Now community is very vague.  We have a growing number of acquaintances and fewer people that we consider close friends.  I have to wonder how blogging and other forms of internet connection have affected this.  When I write, my words are viewed by about 100 people a day, but do I know these people?  Well, there’s no sense talking about you like you’re not there – it’s you!  Do I know you people?  You are able to “know” me because you read my words, but I don’t get to know you back.  Under the old definition of community, we probably would have met face-to-face and spent time together.  Now I get an extra long glance or an extra wide smile, and I think, “Oh, that person must read my blog.  They probably like fried green tomatoes/American Idol/the Beatles/home improvement projects, too.”  On the other side of the coin, some of you frequently leave comments, or you come up to me in person and give me your thoughts.  Maybe we never would have met if this blog hadn’t given you the conversation-starter we needed.  In addition to that, I have reconnected with friends that I had totally lost contact with.  So what do you think?  Is blogging a form of community that is superficial or beneficial?

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9 Responses to +/- for Community

  1. Shawnna says:

    I think beneficial… and I hope you know me LOL… I also think it is a great conversation starter! Have a great day!

  2. Tena says:

    While I prefer face to face and REAL relationships (community), Blogs do allow me to “keep in touch”…pretty sure that is not a relationship though…seems superficial in the relationship area but beneficial if you can’t have the REAL thing…it can help keep you connected with those you don’t really have a relationship with, as well as with those you aren’t able to see or talk to on a regular basis…I’m into talking (so I can hear what people are really saying) and into seeing (this is my favorite way to communicate) so I can “watch” what people are saying…it is amazing how much you can “see what people say”.

  3. Angie says:

    I really like the Blog, mostly because it gives topics to talk about when we do see each other, and it is oppotunity in a very busy world to get to know people, without the “expectations” of phone calls, visits and so on. I love being able to get to know those who are in positions where they aren’t able to talk to EVERYONE on a one to one basis. :O)

  4. chaotic joy says:

    I don’t know you, I am not even going to pretend. 🙂 I don’t think I really even knew you in highschool, self-absorbed twit that I was. I know the bits and pieces of you that you are brave enough to put out here, but as a blogger myself, I know that’s what it is. Bits and pieces. I think, in general, as we become adults and people become entrenched in their lives it is so much harder to make real friends than it was when we were younger. I started, and did not finish, my own post about this phenomenon the other day. Because I hate it. The walls. The difficulty in forging a connection.

    It has certainly made me value the real friends I have though. Even when they are far away. Because I know now how hard they are to come by.

  5. Heather martin says:

    I think that blogs are great to get to know someone initially. I think the blogs from the leaders at church are especially useful because most of the leaders are so busy, they don’t have the time to dedicate getting to know each person that attends our church on a deep level. I do on the other hand think that we have slacked off a lot on doing things face to face, we email, we blog, we text…we’d rather do that than talk on the phone most of the time much less take the time to hang out or discuss something face to face. I don’t know about everyone else, I struggle with time management and getting to know additional people because I have a hard time keeping up with the people that are in my life now.

  6. chrissy says:

    I’ve been thinking on this one…on one level blogging is duplicating the superficial, chatty things we would talk about if we ran into each other in the hall. On another level, it is sharing deep feelings that we might not necessarily share in person with acquaintances. In my case, I have been able to reconnect with a lot of old friends and strengthen relationships that had grown out of touch. It has enabled me to be involved in little day-to-day things with my sisters and old friends (you) that I would otherwise miss out on by being so far away. So yes, it is both.

  7. Kolette says:

    I think blogging is beneficial in both ways, just as many have already mentioned. I really like learning what is going on in the church “community”. But I really prefer face to face. It’s hard work, but developing close relationships takes time spent together sharing life’s experiences and God’s blessings with each other. That’s why I’m planning to attend the 6:30am Women’s Study Group starting on April 30th! (see Ricsha’s) blog.

  8. michele says:

    well i have to agree with angie and tena (is there free tea and jewelry in this?) i think it’s beneficial because it keeps you on a “conversation track”, no side notes that may you lose you train of thought and then the coversation takes hours longer than it needed too. or if there is an awkward moment… however, i’m visual like tena, so i do miss “watching” the expressions of the other person! some of you i know so well that i can see you and hear you as i read. but without prior face to face that wouldn’t be possible.

  9. Amy C. says:

    I think it is what you make it. I would like to think that people would make it a community-builder, but I’m just not sure yet what I feel about it all. I actually blogged on blogging too. I personally take the blogs to start conversations. I use them too to check on people. I figure if you haven’t blogged in a while, stuff is going down. I like to check on those people. I also take what they write and check on them if it is not so positive. I do that, though, because I am relational by nature. Again, I think it’s all what you make of it.

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