"Revelation" Through Online Fellowship: Adele Interviews Me - pt. 8

Adele asks me what I think about "online fellowship" - is it legitimate? I think so, and it's going to change the world faster than ever before (that could be bad or wonderful!) ...


10 comments:

Al said...

For a 'Johnny come lately' like myself, I am still basking in the veritable cornucopia of online possibilities. But at the same time, I would be quite stunted or perhaps weirdly deformed if I didn't have at least some face to face friends on a similar path. So, I think both are very important.

I tend to be more open and experimental online with people who seem to be as heretical/deviant as I think I am becoming, than I am with most of my face to face friends--probably because I assume how most of my friends would respond to some of my thoughts and questions.

Great discussion.

Peter said...

I agree, Al. I think both are important too!

I also think it's easier to push boundaries online - for better and for worse - which means change can come more quickly due to the perceived safety.

Just as in real life, inauthenticity can certainly complicate and muddy the process.

Thanks Al!

existentialpunk said...

Thnx Al!

Peter, great conversation! I so get that middle space as I was there once too. Sometimes I find myself there at times again.

Existential Punk said...

The problem I find with virtual relationships is that misunderstandings can and do occur. When we can't read body language and hear tones can be painful!

elly said...

arghphhhhhblaahhh... the middle space! i'm there and i swear i'm having my second adolescence! the feelings of self-doubt, confusion, not being able to confidently define yourself... lots of drama.

it's definitely been easier for me to begin voicing my questions and doubts in the context of the WWW than in "real life." while i do plan on eventually being more vocal (with my family and friends--as i want to be authentic to myself), i think that online community can really help someone survive a more liminal spiritual phase.

although we extol the necessity to "change" and "grow," when we actually DO, we're often met with the most resistance and challenges from the people who are closest to us. there is a fear that the relationship will change, or that those people will also have to change, whether or not they are willing...

i think it's easier to find "cheerleaders" who encourage me toward growth among people who don't actually know me very well--or maybe haven't met me.

(i'm not saying that is good or bad--just observing)

thoughts?

Josh Mueller said...

All I can say is - if it weren't for a long discussion and consecutive contact at an online forum (with a very patient, very intelligent man who made himself very vulnerable in the process), I would not be the person I am today.

I'd be much more fearful, more confrontational, unwilling to make an effort to listen, and unable to see the paradigms in which we think and argue.

Peter said...

Elly, that's probably true - we feel there is less at stake - less to lose, by entering these types of online relationships. I would certainly argue it is EASIER to keep online relationships shallow, distant, "safe" or even dishonest. But it is possible to be very deep, very authentic and very vulnerable. And the converse is true on both sides as well.

Online can be a great avenue for beginning the process, or perhaps to recover from being burned in person.

Josh, thanks for sharing that - it's great to hear these testimonies of ways God works through fellowship in unexpected ways!

Existential Punk said...

i look really pissed off at Peter but i'm seriously just thinking deeply! LOL!!!

Adele

Rhiannon Y Orizaga said...

"although we extol the necessity to "change" and "grow," when we actually DO, we're often met with the most resistance and challenges from the people who are closest to us."

wow Elly! TRUE. DAT.
Recently I allowed myself to get consumed in this mentality of being sad because I couldn't agree with a lot of dear friends anymore and I felt a bit isolated about it... then my mum said "God is asking you to grow" and it became clear in an instant... this is a good thing! And she also pointed out that it never gets easier but isnt it great to think that God keeps challenging us our whole lives?

elly said...

Yes, R... It's a good thing, but still painful. I remember being 9 or 10 and trying to fall asleep with that intense ache in my lower legs--"growing pains." My mom would give me these super-tight hospital-strength socks to constrict the blood flow, and somehow it helped ease the pain and allowed me to rest. And my Mom would tell me that they wouldn't last forever (I wish I had something to show for all those aches--but 5'2" doesn't seem worth it!) but I guess she was wrong--they just hurt somewhere else.

I'm sorry that you feel distant from dear friends; I understand and am going through the same thing, and even feel removed from my own family.

You mentioned that God urges us to grow and change throughout our lives. I think all of us are "here" because we've accepted that challenge. Some people don't! I sometimes think it'd be MUCH easier and perhaps less painful for me to be the conservative, evangelical Christian wife and mother I think I was raised to be. To not question everything so much...

This does seem like the more difficult way--maybe it's just especially stressful when you're realizing all the things that you can't/don't believe and figuring out what you DO believe and how then, you should live... and because it inevitably results in loss. And even though I'm all about expressing my individuality, of course I long to "fit in" somewhere...

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