Is Koinonia Possible in Online Relationships

Have you ever thought about your relationships both offline and on? Relationships that are right in front of you obviously take a bit more work because they are just that… right in your face. The way I speak to my best friend {my husband} is completely different that my attitude towards my children. My parents are different than that of my friends. Relationships vary by case yet are still work in any realm.

Koinonia – To create a bond between comrades when people are recognized, share their joy and pains together, and are united because of their common experiences, interests and goals. Fellowship creates a mutual bond which overrides each individual’s pride, vanity, and individualism, fulfilling the human yearning with fraternity, belonging, and companionship. This meaning of koinonia accounts for the ease by which sharing and generosity flow. In this manner, those who shared believed their true wealth lay not in what they had, but in what they gave to others. Fellowship is never passive in the meaning of koinonia, it is always linked to action, not just being together, but also doing together. With fellowship comes a close and intimate relationship embracing ideas, communication, and frankness, as in a true, blessed interdependent friendship among multiple group members.

Yes, koinonia is derived from a Hebrew word that is used 20 times in the Bible. 20 verses of scripture that teach us how to be in fellowship with one another. As a Christian, the connotation of the terms “fellowship” and “communion” may be different than to someone who does not necessarily attend church regularly. And, I do not mean that in a negative way, it is simply that a church community may use the words differently in relation to tasks or ideals. In fact, different churches may use the words different than another. Yet, nevertheless, a koinonia friendship within the church is built upon a common belief in their faith, sharing and participation within the congregation.

Is Koinonia Possible in Online Relationships?

I often wonder if we could take these similar thoughts and apply them to an online relationship? By that I simply mean, can we as bloggers, for example, use the idea to come together within our online world rather than tearing each other apart? Coined as “mommy bloggers” we should be able to understand both the joys and pains of parenting together. We have common experiences in our journeys and should embrace them together and support each other as we walk them together. Our interests must have some similarity because, somehow, we have all been intertwined in this online world called blogging. And even though we may each have different goals in what we would like to see from our blogs, I can almost guarantee that we all have at least one common purpose: a quality network of great readers that care enough to return.

With that said, I wish the online connections were easier. I have seen one niche of bloggers bashing another for their choices and vice versa. I read but stir clear of commenting because conflict is the last thing I need. But do I have an opinion on the topic? Sure. I would love to see everyone just write. Write what you know about and have a passion for. You want to post pretty pictures, savory recipes, creative crafts or humorous comics? Great! Go for it! It is your blog and, as I call my site here, your “own little piece of the internet.” No one tells me how to decorate my house or what to wear… why should I care so much what someone else thinks about my blog? It is mine.

At the same time, in this Utopia-based online world I fantasize about, we would all support each other in our decisions and agree to disagree when necessary. After all, if we were all on the same thought process day in and day out how boring of a world that would be?! Does that mean I have to like every post you put out? Of course not. Do I have to agree with the crazy picture you posted or the disgusting-looking recipe I stumbled upon? No. You know your audience and your tastes and thus your blog should relate to that. If I do not like the way you run your giveaway or fill my news feed with coupon after coupon I have every right to “unlike” your page, stop following you on Twitter, or unsubscribe from your RSS feed. Yet that does not mean I need to turn around and bash you for it. Nor does it mean I hope your blog ends up shriveling up and dying a slow painful death. I still hope you do well… it is just not for me.

So is Koinonia possible in online relationships? Most likely not. The dedication to work that hard on a relationship with a community you do not know on a personal level is not there. We have to work so endlessly at our life set before us each day that we can be drained and unmotivated to try an online friendship such as this. Technically I believe the logistics are all before us when we look at the common threads, but, again, the desire is absent. Even within our own niche jealousy and bitterness set in and our original purpose in writing is lost.

As for me? I just want to write. This blog gives me a sense of peace in my crazy, sometimes hectic life. I write in the wee hours of the night as I ponder my days both in the past and future. I seek out reviews because I have always enjoyed sharing my thoughts on products. I host giveaways because it allows me to give back to my readers somehow in return for their loyalty. I write personal stories because I need someone’s support or giggle at the constant flow of simply living life. And yet, sometimes, I want to share the amazing talents of others through Pinterest pictures or simple quotes that inspire me.

Do I worry about everyone else? I can’t. If I focus on what everyone else is doing I feel as though I will lose sight of me. This is my blog. Period. I do not want to be just like you or them {whoever they are}. I want to be original {to some degree} but I also want others to just understand that and let me be. I am okay with it if you choose to not read my post or skip over my giveaway. That is fine. Come back tomorrow and maybe there will be something new that may interest you. We have a saying here in Texas: “Don’t like the weather? Just wait a minute and it will change.” That is kind of how I see my own posts sometimes.

With all that being said, as much as I wish our online world was all rainbows and sparkly things, it is not. We argue. We bash. We point fingers and call each other names. But in the overall realm of things I think we are all fighting for the same thing: acceptance. Once we are all able to figure that out perhaps we can make one more step towards that koinonia relationship. Until then I will write for me and hope that someone returns to read more tomorrow. I will support my fellow bloggers in the ways that I know how and I quietly bow out of conversations that do not further uplift those involved. Personally, I think it takes more energy to fight with someone than it does to just smile and move on. I am too exhausted doing my own thing to fight an online battle. Boy, I am sure my husband and children wish I would say that about a few things here at home!

differences

365 Days of Gratitude

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