So you may have noticed that I am on Facebook now. I really must insist that I did it for work, to help with the communications for my Course in Christian Studies class. I know you won't believe me but there you go.
Of course there have been some good outcomes, not least getting back in touch with my godson Cameron, and improving communications with people I ought to be better at staying in touch with.
I also use it to stay in touch with people from Church and their far-flung relatives. We have a group for St Mary's Stebbing, so to a certain extent we are developing into an online community, especially for those peopel who for whatever reason are not actually living in the village at the moment.
It's not a substitute for real life human contact of course, but I have begun to notice that in a way Facebook is better than real life because you really have to watch what you say and do. In real life people can have a good old gossip, or a bit of a slagging off session; if you are daft enough to do that on Facebook, everyone can see it. It's a reminder that everything we do is observed by someone.
On the subject of online community, the online sermons thing is nearly there!