So this week Microsoft announced some of the new features for their Xbox LIVE service. Along with the normal things you would expect there is the edition of a “party” system which allows up to 8 people to all be on the same chat channel. They can move around to games and such as a group. It is a pretty cool thing when you are trying to play multiple games.
But here is the thing that caught my attention. You can now download movies from Netflix directly to your xbox and if the reporting is correct you can share that movie with the 8 people in your group. So all of you can be watching the movie at the same time.
It sounds cool, but at the same time it sounds a little freaky. As technology brings us back into relationships with people it is starting to do it without us having to leave our own couch. I have several youth who have friends who they met on xbox and have never met face to face. While I think it is cool to have new ways to connect with people, it also scares me that one day we won’t all get together to watch a movie, but rather will all just sit at home and watch it in a communal experience that isn’t really communal.
As these things tend to happen more in our world it becomes imperative that youth ministries and churches in general continue to offer multiple avenues for people to interact face to face. As well as ways for them to find positive ways of human contact.