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Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain


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Talk given for in Leeds, April 28th 2012.

Published in: Spiritual, Technology
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Real relationships in a virtual space #NMTrain

  1. 1. #NMTrain Real Relationships in a@drbexl Virtual Space?@digitalfprint How can digital media enhance true community?@bigbible Dr Bex Lewis, The Big Bible Project, CODEC UK@ww2poster Social Media Consultant, Digital Fingerprint
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  4. 4. Community? Wikipedia defines community as  A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion.DISCUSS What defines “a community”?
  5. 5. What defines „a Community‟?
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  7. 7. Image purchased from iStockphoto
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  9. 9. Christian Values?
  10. 10. Image purchased from 12Baskets
  11. 11. Love thy neighbour? What does it mean to „love your neighbour‟ in a world in which a „friend‟ might as easily be the kid from down the street you grew up with as a woman in Botswana whom you‟ve never seen in person and only know in the context of Facebook status updates, photos, and notes? What is the nature of community at prayer in a compline service tweeted each evening by the cybermonks of a Virtual Abbey? What is the ecclesiological and liturgical significant of worship in various churches across the theological spectrum on the quasi-3D, virtual reality site „Second Life‟? How can we negotiate spiritual interaction in these contexts without losing sight of basic elements of Christian faith expressed in traditional embodied and geographically located practices of prayer, worship, and compassion towards others? Tweet if You Heart Jesus, p.xiv
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  15. 15. Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 “In fact, the progression and continuing interaction among social media formats is not unlike that found in face-to-face engagements. Twitter, for instance, is a bit like a public coffee hour. When you‟re at your best, you spend a little time with everyone, and take care especially to welcome newcomers. And, as at the coffee hour, it‟s generally considered rude when a group of more established friends hangs out in a clique, telling inside jokes that highlight how much everyone else is not part of their set. Facebook, by contrast, is ore like going to coffee with a select group of friends who might bring some of their own friends along. The conversation is still relatively public, and you might run into folk at the coffee shop who join in the conversation. A blog, however, is a poetry reading. Sure, it‟s public in a way. But it‟s pretty likely that only those people who already know you will come to hear what you have to say. If they like it, they might invite friends to the next one, or they might hang out afterwards to comment on your work.
  16. 16. Tweet if you heart Jesus, p86 The thing is, it‟s not likely that you would introduce to someone and then immediately invite them to your upcoming poetry reading. You might mention that you wrote poetry in the context of a coffee hour getting-to-know-you or just-checking-in conversation. If there‟s a mutual interest, you might even go for coffee with your other poetry loving friends. All of this would happen before you started inviting people to your readings by way of creating a context for that invitation that comes off as something more relational than narcissistic.”
  17. 17. Outreach Magazine, May 2012
  18. 18. May 2012, @ChristianityMag
  19. 19. Human Beings at Machines,not “are machines”.
  20. 20. Friendship“…Out of a commitment to an ideal of Christian relatedness that sees us all as God‟s children, each worthy of attention and care.” (p.145) Where is the balance between conserving our sanity/deeper relationships, and ensuring that all feel valued? What about friendship „clearouts‟?
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  23. 23. #Digidisciple(s)
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  25. 25. Some good advice from@ianaspin: Care for others - genuinely Know that the world doesn‟t revolve around you Be „remarkable‟, be different Earn the right to have others take notice of you Be grateful if ONE person cares what you‟re doing Have something to say that matters Do stuff that matters – make an impact Strive to bring value to everyone you connect with Be fantastically generous with our time, money, and kindness Be outrageously committed to making the world better It‟s all about relationships – build & nurture them Thanks @ianaspin (
  26. 26. Community?Wikipedia defines community as A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion.
  27. 27. @drbexl @digitalfprint @bigbible @ww2posterImage purchased from iStockphoto