I just read a great article in Atlantic magazine called "Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?" The writer examines whether people who rely on the "connectedness" of social media like Facebook are actually becoming more, not less, isolated from one another. He asks whether the kind of artificial, virtual community that people seek on Facebook can be a substitute for relationships with real people.
The point I thought was really interesting was that people simultaneously hunger for human community, and avoid community because it takes work. At the same time we long for connectedness with others, but because relationships are demanding, we will find any excuse to avoid them. That seeming contradiction in human nature is an example of what the Bible would call "sin." Sin is that about us which creates estrangement, which undermines our fundamental need for relationships. It's about how we sometimes do the very thing that is harmful to us and to others.
Churches ought to be places where people can overcome their isolation and find community. Sometimes I think we don't work hard enough to make that available to people for whom isolation is easy and relationships are hard. And I wonder what steps we could take to break down the growing barriers in our culture to meaningful human relationships?
Here's the link to the article.