Posted by: Jenn Deering Davis | February 11, 2008

always connected… to faith

I’m working on the pilot study for my dissertation – a content analysis of blog posts about being always on. In searching for appropriate posts to analyze, I’ve come across a number of references to being “always connected” to God. This is by no means the focus on my study (nor an area of my expertise), but I find the use of these terms – always on, always available, always connected, perpetual contact and so on – in terms of faith and religion quite interesting.

My study focuses on the ways people talk about being always connected to others through communication technologies; specifically I want to know how this impacts communication with and about work. But I might learn something about this by paying attention to the other ways people use these terms, as they do when talking about their connections to their faith. Faith and work are two incredibly important spheres in many people’s lives, so it makes sense that they would be the focus of this kind of talk. For many, their relationship with God is the original always-on relationship. I’m not even going to begin to discuss how the always-on relationship with work interacts with that relationship with faith (I don’t want to even suggest that one might supplant or take away from the other); I just think it is interesting to look at the other things people are always connected to. And this particular one doesn’t require an iPhone or even an internet connection!

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Responses

  1. Jenn, I picked your blog up on a Google search. Your research sounds interesting. I don’t know whether you are a person of faith or not, but faith and work are not two concepts that most people today consider very compatible. Most have bifurcated their lives and consider faith and work separate categories. This thinking actually stems back to Greek thought rather than the Judeo-Christian Scriptures which consider faith and work 100% compatible. Fortunately there is a movement going on today, especially among the under-35 crowd, which refuses to live bifurcated lives. Understandably they want to be the same person at work as they are at their place of worship or any other place for that matter. And if God is truly interested in our daily work, then staying “always connected” to the All-knowing, All-powerful, Ever-present Sovereign of the universe (much less the workplace) is an advantage to a person of faith.

    I spend quite a bit of my time encouraging and mentoring men and women in the workplace to stay connected to God—no easy task given the demands of today’s workplace.

  2. This is a great perspective, Bill! I think this is an incredibly important issue in contemporary organizations, especially when we’re talking about issues related to work-life boundaries. Thank you for posting your thoughts (and for reading, of course)!


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