Dan Edelen’s Post on Social Isolation

Eye opening post over at Cerulean Sanctum today on the ineffectiveness of social networking in creating actual connections between real people. Here is an exerpt,

“My neighbor told me a few weeks ago that he bought his fifth-grade son a cell phone. As my neighbor is a bit of a Luddite and has resisted such things in the past, I was surprised. What surprised me more was his reasoning, which was nowhere on my radar screen.

Seems he bought the phone because his popular son had seen that popularity dwindle to zero.  And that sudden dive was strictly because the son was out of the texting loop. No cell phone meant no connection to the social structure of today’s tweens and teens. In reality, the boy had ceased to exist.”

He goes on to talk about small groups he has been a part of and how they are beginning to meet less and less frequently. This hits home for me and encourages me to do a better job of informing people just how vital our groups are to our Christian walk and relationships with others.

On a side note, how many people do you know who have a name that has alternating consonents and vowels? Pretty nifty.

0 Responses to Dan Edelen’s Post on Social Isolation

  1. Mark says:

    It’s scary, isn’t it?

    I’ve pretty well accepted that FB and Txting are integral parts of my job. As much as it could seem to some that I waste a lot of time every day with these, it is vital in order for me to connect with my teens.

    I saw a couple of my teens get off of FB for a while, and almost immediately they became completely disconnected to the group, and felt like outsiders.

    I don’t think all of this is good, but it is reality. I wrestle with whether it’s better to try and resist to make some sort of statement (which will likely fall on deaf ears), or to simply embrace it and try to utilize it.

    Tough issue, unlike anything the Church has faced before, I think.

  2. Nick Gill says:

    Have any youth workers had any success sharing some spiritual disciplines with their pre-teens and teens?

    FB, et al, can be powerful tools for communication, but I know that they are deeply distracting to me unless I’m well-grounded that day.

    Like today — I’ve spent more time on here today, and I hope Matt isn’t ready to kill me yet.

    But I guess the question might be: How do we help our youth, with their deep craving for belonging, transition from valuing the sense of belonging they get from their worldly communities to valuing the sense of belonging they receive from belonging to the community of faith?

  3. mattdabbs says:

    Nick,

    I am not upset in the least! I am glad there are people here who know they can say whatever they want and be listened to and treated with respect. You have made me really question myself and I am grateful to you for that. So kill you…no. Waterboard you…well…nah!

    P.S. We have tried using Facebook for ministry and advertising. It has worked to some extent.

  4. WesWoodell says:

    I disagree that his post is eye opening. Here’s the comment I left on the other blog:

    “You said, “We are preferring them to meeting together face to face. We no longer assemble.”

    You use the word “we,” but what you’re saying certainly doesn’t apply to my experience.

    I use social networking tools like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogging, etc. to connect with people, and my ministry has be enhanced as a result – not taken away from.

    Face to face interaction hasn’t diminished – it’s increased. In fact, I’ve had Bible studies with people face to face as a DIRECT RESULT of interacting with them on a social networking site FIRST.

    I hear what you’re saying, but I’m afraid your critical attitude toward tools you can use to connect with people might hinder your ministry in the 21st century world.”

  5. mattdabbs says:

    Wes,

    He is pointing out a real issue that people at least need to think about. I have done something similar to what you have done and had decent success with it in a way that has actually led to more face time with people. So I see what you are saying and don’t think facebook, et al. have to diminish social interaction. But we also cannot ignore the fact that for some, it is an issue.

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