…we become captured by the impression that technology makes place irrelevant. Once we buy into this language of networks and third spaces, we are essentially buying into a conception of radical individualism in which we create, manage, and control spaces and time and where we intentionally attract (or avoid) particular kinds of people at the times most convenient to us. There is no accountability here because we can remove ourselves (switch away from the talk site or leave the third space) at any time we choose. The result is a pseudo-belonging because we don’t have to struggle with the messiness of long-term relationships with the other, our neighbor, whom we may not like or have chosen.
What do you say to this from Roxburgh’s Missional Map-Making? (And, yes, I know – another Roxburgh book – it’s getting to be like the Ruth Haley Barton and Mike Mason blogging fests I’ve had on here over the last couple of years…!)
All I can say is that I think I am watching the creep, as we quietly switch from phone calls to texts and whatsapps, as we communicate less face to face and more by Facebook and Skype. We only meet in the space which together we have created, a virtual space where my time and yours intersect for a brief moment. And this moment is so fleeting that we do not have time to travel to a physical venue; it is perhaps even so momentary that we cannot cram in a conversation on the phone and instead we send a text because that can be read in seconds and a reply postponed until later.
And though I am as guilty as the next person – perhaps even more so with my schedule of being part-time everything and full-time frazzled – there is still something inside of me which dies a little more with every month and year of this that goes by.
Truly, I long to know and be fully known.