Sunday, 3 May 2020

Online life

posted by kathz

Online life is still life, as I’ve been reminded by a blogpost from Rhiannon Grant.

I’ve been using the internet for a long while and I’m in a very happy relationship which started online. Other people are much less experienced with the internet and are trying to get used to the different conventions and kinds of contact it offers. Rhiannon’s blogpost, which can be reached by clicking here, offers some helpful advice.

This doesn’t mean we should expect everyone to use the internet. There are still people who have good reasons to stay away from online experiences as well as others for whom it’s impossible. We still need to value the experience and insights of those who stay away from the virtual world. If we care about equality, we need to remember that the most valuable insights we can gain will often come from those who don’t share our experience or perspectives. These are the insights that can help us learn.

We can also help one another by talking about the aspects of online Meeting for Worship and other online encounters that are difficult. For example, I don’t like the idea of everyone else staring at me in my home. This may say something about my working-class origins - I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the way middle-class people spend so much time discussing their own and other people’s home decor. I’m also lousy at housework. Other people may have other concerns - about how they look or sound or about the difficulty of socialising in a large group when Meeting has ended.

If we’re concerned about equality and building a community in which everyone is valued and loved, we need to be attentive to one another’s concerns and thoughtful about how we respond. It’s not easy to express a lack of confidence when others seem secure. And it’s worth remembering that equality is very hard to practise in a world where inequality is taken for granted.

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