Appreciating Online Community

birthdayThere’s something pretty cool about celebrating a birthday in today’s cyber-world.

High school classmates, distant relatives, church friends, co-workers.  The flood of well wishes leaves one feeling noticed, valued, important.

At least those are some of the things I’ve experienced this trip around the sun as observed via social media.

Now when I was a young child, birthdays were grand events, but they were also exclusively the domain of close family members   As I grew, I suppose I had a few friends celebrate birthdays with me, but it is an entirely different matter to have a hundred or more people from all realms of your life wishing you well as you turn a year older.

So for as much as I wonder how “real” or how “deep” online relationships are, I can say they do have the ability to make us feel more connected, more  a part of a larger system, more related to the people on this crazy planet Earth.

And feeling more connected is a good step in the direction of actually being more connected.

As the church I serve experiments with enhancing our online presence, including the expansion of live streaming worship services to facilitate online church, I am excited to think of all the men, women, students, children, strangers who will be impacted.  Those who will experience community, perhaps not as “real” as face-to-face contact, but as I’m feeling today, real just the same.

With all that said, I still have some celebrating to do. Here’s to hoping your can do the same online or in “real” life.

Life is better together,
Shawn

 

 

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