This weekend, Pastor Todd talked about Meaningful Relationships. I thought it was quite appropriate that he mentioned Facebook to start the talk. Social media really has changed the way that we view relationships. One of the things that is attractive about relating to people online is that we are in complete control. If someone is annoying us, or says something hurtful, we can simply tune out. We don't have to "put up" with anything we don't like.
As I've researched social networking over the last few years, I came across an infographic that asked an interesting question: "is social media making us socially awkward?" This collection of studies focuses on how online relationships impact offline relationships, and how they compare to one another. At the bottom of the infographic, a particular study conducted in Hong Kong in 2012 caught my eye. The study found that offline relationships were more work than online relationships because they required more interdependence, breadth, depth, understanding, and commitment.
When you look at that list of traits, I think it is pretty fair to say that these are very important qualities to develop in life!
As we continue to look at Meaningful Relationship over the next few weeks, it is helpful to recognize that there will be challenges and difficulties in any relationship - small groups included. But also know that the way you will grow will be significant. It reminds me a bit of something I tell my son regularly: "if something in life is easy, it probably isn't worth doing".