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I was reading through the obituary of life-long Dayton citizen Nadine Warren and was thoroughly impressed with how involved she was during her life.

She was a farm wife. She had a career. She went to Kinman Business University and was a secretary.

But she was involved in so many clubs.

It seems like, for our parents and the early part of my generation, our twenties and thirties, there were groups we could be involved in, somewhere to interact with other people building meaningful relationships and be a part of the community.

This type of camaraderie seems to have dwindled in the community through the years—and in the country at large these days. We just don’t see as much participation in the service clubs, like the Lions Clubs, or Kiwanis, or Cowbelles…the clubs and organizations that really got people out and involved in the community.

In my parent’s day and mine too, people met often. They did things together. Had dinners and programs and fair booths, even went sledding on a cold January Sunday afternoon. They were out there for all of the community events. I remember my mom going to the Youth Building at the fairgrounds because the Cowbelles would cook luncheons for all kinds of events.

Golly, we are just missing out on the best part of community and that is belonging to groups. Belonging to each other.

If you’re not in a group, you’re isolated. That’s how things are done nowadays. It seems people are glueed to their screens texting, emailing, surfing the net or Facebooking to the point no one is speaking to each other, out loud anyway. Social media has not only taken up our time, it has created divisiveness in people because they’ve been behind the screen. People have this idea that since they can’t be seen, they can say whatever they want, and they can just puke anything out there.

Now that we say what we want, we’re being censored. If it doesn’t follow the “community guidelines” of Facebook or Twitter, its suppressed.

That’s not a substitute for being in a group. Being in a group, you get to be in person. You get to look other people in the eye, and if you have something to say to them, you can’t say it like people do now on social media. You have to show some courtesy, some dignity, some integrity.

You wouldn’t go up to a friend or coworker and just blast them with hard, edgy comments, just because you don’t agree with them on a political view or some view of any sort.

We’ve really lost connection with each other, and I don’t know that we’ll ever get it back.

Social media has taught our young people to be so isolated and apart, and this pandemic has taken us to the next level, more division—not only of ideas, but of physical space. We’re divided by our four walls and a door. We’re divided by thoughts and ideas. We’re divided by opinions.

We can’t be a group any more. We can’t be a network of people working together for a common, greater sense of community. We are absolutely prohibited to do that nowadays.

Even adults are finding it difficult to go out and having a conversation with a group of friends without having phones on and looking at Facebook.

How many times have you seen a family of four—mom, dad, brother and sister—sitting at a restaurant table, all on their phone or tablet, playing games, or looking at their emails, or looking at Facebook? Put your phones down!

This electronic life has just taken over.

We think the electronic voting system is filled with integrity but it’s not. It’s absolutely manipulated. People can go in there, sneak in the “back door,” and change things up because no one’s there to see them.

Our electoral system is not protected from the evils of what man can do because there’s no accountability to mankind, to each other. “Who cares?” “I’ve gotten what I want.”

I think that’s why we have become so corrupt, because there’s no camaraderie anymore. There’s no accountability to one another anymore. Relationships are expendable.

Previous generations were connected. There was this idea of building, rather than of tearing down.

Take a chance to talk to one another. I know that it’s frightening. Believe me, it’s so much more positive to build a network of friends and feel like you belong.

There’s nothing lonelier than living in our society today. There are people out there, but they’re not together.

This all started with the downfall of not being in service clubs.

People got so busy, so they say, or they didn’t have time because they’re going on vacation, or away. It used to be that people would gather together and have picnics and go swimming at the swimming hole.

Churches would be filled with parishioners and they would have gatherings and potlucks and skating parties and pond swimming parties and hikes and camping trips…the whole family would be involved.

That doesn’t happen anymore.

We have to be alone.

Our society has become alone. We don’t prosper each other in relationships, in thought, in emotion, nothing.

It’s unfortunate. I envy my parents’ era because there was a connection with other people. It’s too bad that we have grown to hate each other. I hope that this social media just blows up and we have to go back to taking time to be with each other and just talk.