Internet Friends

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First, a couple funny images:

I read blogs via Google Reader, and use hotkeys to get through the posts faster. But sometimes my fingers hit the wrong keys and I start typing instead. This is what I looked up to see this morning:

NOM link here

And, for as smooth as everything went yesterday, there were a few minutes where Sonlight's homepage looked like this:

10am MST April 1, 2009

Now that we've had our giggles, time to move on to the second--and real--point of this post:

I read yesterday that online communities must be small because "[t]rue community only thrives when the members deeply care for one another." There are many other fascinating points, and so I suggest you read the whole thing.

It got me thinking, though. Granted, I'm not close to all the bloggers I read, but I'd like to think that I have already established very close connection to at least a couple of my "bloggy friends." And considering I attended the wedding of a friend I met via World of Warcraft, and more and more people are meeting their soulmate online, I think this online community has brought us to a very real dimension of connection... even if it isn't IRL.

The Sonlight Forums are a prime example of a rather large online community. And maybe this community thrives on the deep care each member has for homeschooling rather than each other. And so like many other clubs and gatherings, an online community is built around focus, purpose, or interest.

Churches come to mind.

As much as I should deeply care about all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, there's no way I could. But I still gather with them every week in church. And we have community. I have a much closer community with my small groups and friends, but there is community with the other members of my church.

Or, perhaps, I'm just a child of this digital age, and so can't remember the "good old days" when people really did have communities.

So, what do you think, friends?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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