Saturday, August 26, 2006

Social Isolation Growing in U.S., Study Says

"Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.

The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone."

Wow, a friend brought this Washington Post article from June 23rd to my attention. This is a big part of what motivates me to build a community of people - to bring people together in deeply bonded relationships.

I'm constantly using the word, "fragmented" to describe our social reality, and this study proves what we already observe on our own.

This is such a time for the church to reform aspects of itself that lead away from community forming, and to do the opposite. For example, a few leaders holding all the spiritual responsibility and running programs just kills the opportunity for gifted folks to use their spiritual gifts to serve and bless others and build relationships.

Sitting next to someone mutually experiencing a performance or program is not the same as engaging with the person side by side in a project together that gets you both involved serving others and allows you to build the bonds of working side by side. But we just deny that over and over again when we invite people to attend a service, and they sit there and watch it, and go home just as fragmented as they arrived.


Bob H said...

So true. And yet current religious systems insist on these forms of 'worship', 'teaching' and 'fellowship'. Week in and week out filled with the illusion of unity and friendship.
The affluence of our culture has enabled us to be able to survive by paying for help from others. Our sense of need for each other even in our Christian relationships has taken on that same attitude of independance

Anonymous said...

Of course I am isolated from people, because I can't get away from these friggin blogs! I stumbled across yours a year ago. now I am networked all over the country. They all link to another blog, so I have to read the link, and then another and another. Sometimes they go full circle back to yours but then you blog something new and off I go again. I have moved my laptop into the kitchen, next to the guest bathroom. I have all I need within a few steps of my computer. I haven't left my condo for almost a year... well except for that time the fire alarm went off in the building. I have my groceries delivered, I live on welfare checks, and I'm very pale. I would like to get a dog, but they have to go OUT all the time. I think I might need help, but then I'd have to disconnect my internet connection to make a phone call... I'm not sure I can do that. Plus, I would have to actually talk to a stranger on the phone, and I know I can't do that! And you want me to go to church and sit next to strangers!?!? No way man! I am fine right here with my friggin blogs...

Jeff Kursonis said...

Haaaahhhhh! Awesome comment "Anonymous"! I laughed out loud.

Jeff Kursonis - socially isolated and lovin' it!