How the Digital World Limits Our Potential for Abundance

In today’s digital age, one crucial question begs to be answered: how is the growing virtual world affecting our society?

Experts like Ernest Beckera Pulitzer Prize-winning anthropologist, and author of The Denial of Death, warn that the breakdown of our communities is leading to a sense of emptiness and purposelessness in our lives. What’s more, many fear that our over-reliance on social media is causing us to become increasingly isolated and disconnected from our fellow human beings, as we replace genuine face-to-face interactions with virtual ones. Are we truly prepared to sacrifice the richness of human connection for the convenience of technology?

The community has always been about the importance of traditional values, including the vital role communities play in shaping individuals’ lives. However, with the rise of the digital world, these values are being threatened.

Matthew Fox, a respected Ph.D. author, theologian, and activist priest, tells us that sharing significant life events with one another helps us live our lives to the fullest, but warns that the breakdown of communities is causing our society to lose out on the richness of shared experiences and emotional connections. 

In this blog, we will delve into the negative impacts of the digital world on our communities and society and provide strategies for restoring traditional values and connections. Join us as we fight to preserve what truly matters in our lives!

The Main Problems of the Digital World

Years ago, everyone could depend on one another and their extended communities to partake in volunteer events, churches, cookouts, family gatherings, etc. Today, community connections are often limited because the digital world has taken over. Nobody helps anyone out of the kindness of their own heart anymore—if there’s no instant gratification or viral moment, people don’t want any part of it.

But that’s not all. Here are a few other ways the digital world has taken over our communities.

Breakdown in the Development of Children’s Social Skills

Children are the future of our communities, but this new digital age is robbing them of the skills they need to survive basic day-to-day interactions. The truth is that our kids spend more time glued to screens than interacting with their peers, which limits their ability to develop basic social skills like communication, empathy, and conflict resolution. This lack of social development is a threat to the very fabric of our communities, as without these skills, children will struggle to
become active and engaged members of society like the generations before them.

 If our children get more involved in the digital world, the natural formation of communities is at risk. As a community, we labor together towards common goals, celebrate life, and show compassion towards each other. However, when we expose our children to the evils of the digital world, such as cyberbullying, hate politics, and fake news, that is when our communities start to fail.

Alienation From Each Other

Another major problem of the digital world is that it is isolating us from each other, as we are increasingly spending more time on screens than engaging with real people. Social media and other digital platforms have created a false sense of interaction, leading us to miss out on genuine opportunities to create spaces for support, empathy, and love that only human connection can provide. The rise of Twitter and Facebook has only exacerbated this problem, causing a significant decline in community engagement.

But it’s not just the lack of human connection that is troubling. The digital world also creates “echo chambers,” where we consume content that only reinforces our existing beliefs, shutting out opposing views. This leaves us vulnerable to dogmatic thinking that distracts us from the real truth, which, according to Dan L. Edmunds Ed.D., B.C.S.A., lies in compassion and selflessness. As a result, we become less aware of and less concerned about the struggles of others. It’s time to break free from the digital echo chamber and embrace real human connection and empathy, the core values that build strong, compassionate communities.

Decline of Empathy

In modern society, we seem to have forgotten how to speak to one another and actually care. The digital world has made it easy to hide behind a screen and avoid engaging with others, leading to a lack of empathy and understanding. This communication breakdown has led to significant relationship strains in our society.

What’s worse, the digital world has created a culture of instant gratification and communication, where we have become accustomed to getting what we want at the click of a button. This has resulted in a lack of patience and a decrease in our ability to listen to one another. We often forget to take the time to truly connect and empathize with others, which can lead to a breakdown in communication and relationships.

To rebuild strong, compassionate communities, we must recognize the importance of face-to-face communication and actively work towards re-establishing genuine connections with those around us. We need to prioritize empathy and understanding, rejecting the digital culture of instant gratification, and actively working towards building relationships based on patience, compassion, and genuine human connection.

 So, how do we rekindle the community connection?

Overcoming The Challenges of the Digital World

In order to start rebuilding our communities, we need to take immediate action, starting with small steps such as introducing ourselves to our neighbors, organizing community events, and volunteering for local causes.

In his Daily Meditations, Matthew Fox discusses the importance of intentional communities that prioritize compassion, diversity, and sustainability. These communities live and work together towards a common goal, creating a sense of belonging and purpose that is missing in our digital world.

Here are a few ideas on how you can start improving the community spirit in your neighborhood today.

Volunteer Together

There are so many volunteer opportunities around. Together with your neighbors, you could discover a cause you all are passionate about. This would strengthen the bonds in your community and nurture your sense of belonging, while also making the world a better place.

Start a Community Garden

A garden could transform your neighborhood not only by adding aesthetics but also by engaging you and your neighbors in a common activity.

Organize a Litter Pick

While it is important to keep your neighborhood clean, it should not be the responsibility of a single individual. Together with your neighbors, you could arrange regular meetings to clean the street. Also, you could organize days for putting out good quality items you no longer use but that anyone is allowed to take and reuse. These small acts of kindness can have a big impact on our sense of belonging and connectedness.

Unfortunately, the digital world has limited our society’s potential for abundance by limiting children’s social skill development, disconnecting us from one another, and causing a breakdown in communication and caring. However, by taking small steps toward rebuilding the community, we can rekindle community connections.

The goal at NESTSocial is to be unlike traditional media and social sites and instead encourage the emergence of meaningful relationships within communities.

NESTSocial is an interactive and community-based social collaboration platform dedicated to reaching a new level of privacy, community connections, and relevant relationship building. Contact us to join our journey or to learn more about our values and vision.