Tuesday, 29 October 2013

My invaluable online faith community!


As a happy member of Generation Y, technology is my natural skill, like breathing. As someone who can be more than a little awkward at large social gatherings, technology is even more important for the sanity of my soul. And as someone who loves having friends from all around the globe, technology is just perfect.

And ever since I re-discovered the faith of my childhood around the year 2009, technology has been an inseparable part of my faith community. During my first days as a passionate revert in her faith-honeymoon period, it was the community at an online amateur apologetics forum that strengthened me. These people introduced me to my first Tridentine Latin Mass and the dazzling world of deep Catholic theology. Some of the forum members then became my Facebook friends. From these people I discovered awesome Catholic websites, both local and international, and since then my circle quickly grew.

Over the years, the online social media—which include Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere—has become instrumental in my personal formation towards holiness. I'm not kidding. Catholics are a minority in the country, and even more sadly, most of my offline Catholic friends are either lukewarm or inclining towards Protestantism. So great reading materials and meaningful discussions are mostly found online. I found Chesterton online. I found the Eastern Church online. I found the Dominican Laity online. I found chapel veil shops online. I found forgotten, beautiful ancient prayers online. I even found a faith-based writing job online!

I don't believe it one minute when someone says online friends are / can not [become] your real friends. Because, strangely enough, the relationships I formed online are the only real and lasting relationships in my world. The friends I first "knew" online have become my closest ones (especially after we finally met offline), while many of the ones whom I first met offline turned out to be fake and not having that much in common with me anyways. I think the online community has the benefit of unearthing a person's real intellect and interests, such as from the way he comments or what sort of things he posts or likes. Granted, they can fake things, and it's slightly easier on the internet, but my personal experience shows that offline folks can do as many, even worse, manipulations.

Additionally, the blogosphere has also influenced and encouraged my writings. For me, blogging is perfect: it's both personal and public, both a sandbox and a chronicle, both reflective and informative. I watch how my writing style gradually took flesh through committed blog writing. And I believe I don't publish my posts out of narcissism; I publish them publicly so that I'm responsible for what I write. If I knew my posts would get read by people, I would try to write carefully and meaningfully. Wouldn't you?

I thank God everyday for my online faith community. That means YOU, readers! :) Know that I value you and cherish you, and that without your presence I wouldn't be what I am now.

[Now I'm not saying that the internet does not have its criminals and weirdos—it absolutely does!—but in this age, the cyber world is not only very similar to the real world, it also supplements the real world! Just as we need to be careful on the streets, we too need to be careful when surfing the net. And just as we can find true friendships on the streets, we too can find true friendships on the net. How wonderful is God's work!]

I'm linking up this post over on Tiffany's blog. Linking up is an interesting blogging activity to foster good relationships between bloggers. Go join, it may make your day a little more fruitful!


Image: "Luncheon of the Boating Party", Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1881

2 comments:

  1. Anna, thanks SO much for your thoughts. I totally agree with you, I have Twitter friends who I feel closer to than people I know in real life! The bonds are very real. And I just feel very grateful. Thank you so much for linking up!

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    Replies
    1. You're most welcome! And thank *you* for sharing a great topic for a linkup! :)

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