With well over 300 million members and counting…
What does our obsession with Facebook and other social networking sites say about us?
A revolution is underway. A Wi-Fi, worldwide movement that is changing how we interact with others. It's a seismic shift that is redefining the idea of community. Online social networks are connecting people like never before. And with millions of users, they're creating a virtual world that erases all boundaries. It's a movement that's changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at their core, these sites reflect our need for community. Our need for intimacy, connection, and a place to simply belong.
In his new book, The Church of Facebook, author Jesse Rice examines the wildly popular world of online social groups. The Church of Facebook is a compelling and thought-provoking look into the phenomenon of online social networking and its radical impact on culture, community, and our understanding of God and self. Rice believes this social trend toward hyper-connection reveals our deeply ingrained need for one another and points to a God who longs to intimately connect with each one of us.
While people of all ages, from middle-schoolers to great-grandparents, are joining this movement, it is especially popular among tweens and teens. With their children spending so much time on these sites, it is especially important for parents to better understand their kids, their kid’s online interactions, and their own role in parenting well within a digitally-dominated culture.
“We must understand that, for most people (especially younger people) there is no longer a distinction between ‘real’ and ‘online’ community. It’s all part of the same experience. Whether my friends are in cyberspace or around my dinner table, they are my community. This is an important concept to grasp in order to enter more fully into the experience of community as a hyperconnected world understands it,” Rice explains.
In The Church of Facebook, Rice’s discussions will engage social networkers who are wrestling with the very real issues of identity, meaning, purpose, and friendship within the context of virtual communities. From profiles, to The Wall, to status updates, to "poking," Jesse shares what Facebook reveals about us, and what it may mean for the church. Driven by Rice’s thought-provoking questions, observations, humor, and heartfelt storytelling, The Church of Facebook challenges readers to consider new perspectives regarding their social networking habits and how those habits may point to deeper heart issues and, ultimately, our hunger for Jesus.
The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice
David C Cook/October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6534-5/192 pages/softcover/$12.99