The question is this:
How many organizations and associations would a 20-something have to join that might come close to equaling the kind of social connection made available through full activity in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
The obvious answer: One.
The elitism inherent in that question is laughable. It comes from an article in the Mormon Times about what technology is doing to face-to-face relationships. It’s an interesting question, which is why I was going to read the article in the first place. I just had to pause and laugh when I reached that paragraph, and then I had to start up a blog post so I could inform readers of something to laugh at.
All the article winds up concluding is that people should be looking at getting more involved with their LDS church instead of spending their nights on Facebook or Twitter.
Would even a volley of Twitterific messages — at 140 characters or fewer — pierce a heart? A soul? An intellect? Perhaps no more than fleeting elevator chitchat. Probably less.
Even if one isn’t aiming for meaningful conversation or reflective dialogue online, though, there’s still something innately spiritual about connecting with the real world.
“I have never seen an electronic hug that worked worth a darn,” said Stephen Weber, institute instructor and a former bishop from Orem, Utah, who now is at the New Haven institute in Connecticut. “And last time I checked, kissing is just not as exciting on Facebook.”
That means I need to point out that involvement with any social group, be it friends or something more organized will do the trick. It doesn’t have to be a church. I never used to do a hell of a lot beyond work and show watching but then I started bowling with some girls from work and got invited to join their birthday group and then got the idea to hunt for local Freethinkers and then joined the Skeptics group that was a sideline of that, and then dated a really terrific guy I could communicate with (when he was around and phones were working). I hunted for more opportunities to do that with other people after we split and now I’m spending one or two nights a week with Badger, who is good fun, too.
The point is, I’m hardly at home alone anymore and it’s pretty cool. It’s nice to be involved with groups and having in-person social interactions. I did so much net-chat stuff in university when I should have been having in-person social interactions.. I already went through what kids today are now experiencing in terms of addiction to text messaging and the like. I got over it; maybe some of them will be able to do the same in time. Once they figure out what’s more important…