Are We Parched For Genuine Community?

Below is an excerpt from an article a friend sent me this weekend,  It reiterates the theme that in a world of uber cyber connectedness, we are increasingly starved for genuine relationship! 

What has come to count as connectedness is displacing the real thing. And matters might quickly become dramatically worse.

Loneliness in “epidemic proportions” is producing a “loneliness literature” of sociological and medical findings about the effect of loneliness on individuals’ brains and bodies, and on communities. Sasse says “there is a growing consensus” that loneliness — not obesity, cancer, or heart disease — is the nation’s “number one health crisis.” “Persistent loneliness” reduces average longevity more than twice as much as does heavy drinking and more than three times as much as obesity, which often is a consequence of loneliness. Research demonstrates that loneliness is as physically dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and contributes to cognitive decline, including more rapid advance of Alzheimer’s disease. Sasse says, “We’re literally dying of despair,” of the failure “to fill the hole millions of Americans feel in their lives.”

Symptoms large and small are everywhere... In the last quarter of the 20th century, the average number of times Americans entertained at home declined almost 50 percent. Americans are hyperconnected but disconnected, with “fewer non-virtual friends than at any point in decades.” With the median American checking (according to a Pew survey) a smartphone every 4.3 minutes, and with nearly 40 percent of those 18 to 29 online almost every waking minute, we are “addicted to distraction” and “parched for genuine community.” 

(Full article can be found at here)

We are, “parched for genuine community.”  We know that the PX groups we are involved with can be one piece of the solution. We know that the relationship with God we have is the ultimate solution.  I encourage you to lean into both our horizontal (peers) and vertical (God) relationships to continue to be, or to get, healthy.  Let's continue to create spaces where we can grow, heal, process and find joy in the midst of our, often times, crazy schedules.  And let's remember, that the man or woman in the office next to us probably needs a similar outlet!