Friday, October 21, 2011

"Excuse me...I have a question?"

Have you ever walked out of a church feeling like there was something you wish you had said? Maybe it was your first time visiting, and so you decided to withhold. Or maybe you were worried that your question might not be in congruence with popular opinion. There are a number of reasons why people choose not to speak up at church services, whether it be intimidation, hierarchy, or simple lack of knowledge. It is for this very reason that churches have created online resources that allow people to continue unfinished dialogue. Religious affiliated websites allow people to interact through streamed sermons, chat, and blogging. This open space of dialogue gives members and non-members alike, the opportunity to learn more about a religion and the people involved. Through discourse and interaction, people form relationships that might not have been possible in an offline setting and it is through blogs that religious affiliations, such as St. Pixels (an online blogging forum), create community. Consistent dialogue is a key component to this process. In an offline setting, we reach out to people around us on a day to day basis in order to form meaningful relationships. It is no different with online communities. It becomes a social obligation to “keep up”, in order to become a productive member of society online.

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