There is no doubt the internet and all the devices and social communities that followed has changed the way people relate to each other. There are few who would argue this statement. However, the verdict is still out on whether or not this shift in community is good or bad.
There are some churches that have embraced this shift and have made it possible to have a complete church experience through the internet. While doing some intense preliminary research (simple Google searches), I found a 3-D online church experience. Even if its not quite taken this far, many churches, including the one I attend, stream video recordings of the service online, have blogs, and have Facebook groups.
Not everybody is excited about what the internet has done to community. In this article in USA Today, Nicholas Carr argues that the internet is making people dumber which is also having a negative effect on the way people are able to relate to each other. Many people fear that the artificial community offered via the internet is not a sufficient substitute for physical community, although it is often times used as such.
So what do you think? What ways have you seen the internet change Christian community? Furthermore, is this good or bad? Should churches embrace the new technological community hook, line, and sinker, or should we be wary?
I wrote a brief blog post on this last year. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this!