Yesterday on Twitter I posted this:
I didn’t get any response so I thought I would blog about it a bit here and expand on this thought.
I’ve been reading The Rule of St. Benedict which fascinates me. I didn’t think I could apply monastic principles to my life but the profound statements within this short book are quite applicable to our modern lives. You can hear me read an excerpt over at Compassion365.
The statement I made in the Twitter update is a condensed version of a longer revelation by Timothy Fry, a theologian who wrote an essay as an introduction to the book. He was commenting on the lack of success that our modern society, despite the myriad of ways we communicate, to build genuine community.
You see, in a true community (especially among Christians) people take time to listen and ponder what others say. Twitter and Facebook don’t give us that. A quip goes by without much thought by the reader and is archived but possibly never read or thought about again.
Yes, we have technology to interconnect all of us. We have technology that can alert us when there’s a good deal on some gadget or when our friends eat a ham sandwich. Despite all of this, we’re not communing. We’re not living together but separate.
Community is about togetherness. It’s about rubbing elbows with one another and sitting down for a chat. Community isn’t about keeping in touch but being in touch with one another.
I’m challenged now to live in a way that allows me to be in touch with those around me, not just keep in touch. As far as online communication goes, there’s a possibility to build genuine community. It’s tough due to the lack of physical proximity but I’m encouraged that I can built a community around this blog and my various social media outlets one person at a time.
What about you? What will you do to build community around your online presence?