Wednesday, 03 April 2013

Is the web really connecting us?

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Who is ‘your community’? The people you live near? The people you pray with? The people with the same colour skin as you? Or something else entirely?

Over Easter I visited old friends. Like me, they are from Ireland but don’t feel part of the Expat Irish community, they live in Hackney but never talk to their neighbours and none of us have seen the inside of a place of worship since our Confirmation.

After reflection one friend who designs computer games declared that he felt part of the Gaming Community. “Great” I said, “do you chat with them often and discuss things that matter to you?” “Never” came the reply, “I’ll never meet them. All I know is the games they play”.

What role does technology play in building community? Is the ability to communicate with people across the world making our local  relationships weaker?

I asked one more question. “What would you if you had an accident at home and needed help?”

“I don’t know, I guess I would hope someone who lives on our street would help”.

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