Below are some additional interactions on the article: Belonging In The Cloud. Read it first.
Take a look at some of the history (etymology) of the word:
n. About 1384 communicacioun an imparting or transmitting of something, in the Wycliffe Bible; borrowed from Old French communicacion, learned borrowing from Latin communicationem (nominative communicatio) from communicare make common to many, share, impart (com- together + a lost adjective *moinicos carrying an obligation, from munia, Old Latin moenia duties; see COMMON); for suffix see -ATION.
The specific sense of the imparting or transmitting of ideas, knowledge, information, etc., is first found in English in Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690).—communicate verb. 1526, partake in common, share; either 1) a back formation from English communication, or 2) borrowed from Latin communicatus, past participle of communicare make common, share, impart; for suffix see—ATE.
Excerpted from the Chambers Dictionary of Etymology
BY W. S. MERWIN
Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.
Isn’t that a well-said thought? Just so you know, it is 19 words long and 107 characters (with spaces.) Words are important. When you are far apart from a friend, it’s the main factor in your relationship. You don’t have to use many, but the ones you choose matter. Each day this week, write 2–3 sentiments like this or thoughts about your far away friend, as practice for positive ways to communicate through internet and phone.
Luke 6:37–38—This is an important guideline to keep in your mind at all times. Don’t let the anonymity and physical distance of being online fool you into thinking that it’s okay to be cruel and judgmental.
Proverbs 20:3—As infuriating as some people and threads are online, take this advice! You are only responsible for you.
Psalm 55:12–23—Here’s a very emotive psalm, and if you’ve ever experienced the betrayal of a friend then you can certainly relate to this. This may also be a great reminder of what our words can do to others.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7—This is a famous chapter about love, and while many people read it at weddings it’s not actually about romantic love. God calls us to love everyone, and this description tells us what that means.
Small group guide:
Large group guide:
Take a moment to imagine a make believe friend who make believe moves away. Now outline your ideal progression of your friendship over the next 3 months or longer. Do you email every day? Call on weekends? Is it more relaxed and you only catch up every month? Consider how you handle holidays and vacations, or special occasions like birthdays. Really dig into what your ideal long distance friendship would look like. When you get done, be sure to flip it around and consider what your friends might hope to receive from you. Finally, pray to God and tell him what you hope for, ask him to guide you through online interactions, just spend some time talking to him about what you wish for, what you fear, what he instructs you to do, and how to follow through on your make believing the next time you have a real life situation.
Look at the Scripture section and choose one to memorize this week. Write or print it out and tape it to the device you use the most often to go online. If someone else sees it, use that time to dialogue with them about belonging in the cloud and what that verse means to you personally.
Take a look at this poem submitted to everypoet.net. I always suggest reading poetry through more than once and considering the images and emotions the words call to your mind. As you consider the sentiment expressed, compare it to your own experiences of friendship and trying to ‘belong’ through communicating over long distances. After some time, even a day or two, write your own poem about what you have felt and experienced. Keep it somewhere close like your journal or bible and talk with God about what’s happened. He loves and adores you.
Every pic has a story
that only you and I know
You write a caption
people comment below
‘Shoneli you look great’
writing what their eyes see
I wish I can express
but quietly I must agree
You people don’t know
what lies deep inside
A beauty incomparable
to what you see outside
So I’ll quietly look
at your pic and smile
Thank you God for the moment
it was unforgettably worthwhile
©2010 by Gerard C. Johnson