Virtually Real Community

For some time now I’ve been thinking about community and connection. Partly this has to do with my job- as a minister in a church a whole lot of the stuff I do is about building community and enabling people to connect with God and others. Partly its to do with my own thinking and ideas. I’ve long been fascinated by the ideas of virtual reality, artificial intelligence etc, and over the last 10yrs I’ve experienced an increasing sense in which the non-physically present is becoming more and more real in comparison to the locally present. To use a different set of language- the way in which we relate to people via networks rather than geography.

So as I’ve started this blog I’ve been excited to have visitors from other countries and timezones, who have found their way here via a winding path, alongside those who are more closely linked to me.  The internet is a place where we can communicate quite openly with strangers, and share things close to us, maybe in part because we know we’re not going to bump into each other while buying milk at the corner the next day. I’m not sure how that fits in with developing community, but I am sure it fits somewhere… this is all part of exploring life and faith… Next thing you know, we’ll have a virtual party, or play virtual boardgames, or virtually worship together somehow… anyway, I’m here, and I’m pleased to meet you.

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