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The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community Paperback – October 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434765342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434765345
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

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. Every day millions of people connect through online social networks, sites that allow us to follow our friends, and shape how they view us.

But while personal profiles are revealing, they hint at even larger truths. They uncover our desire for identity, our craving to be known, and our need to belong.

Jesse Rice believes that Facebook offers a profound look at our deepest needs. Join Jesse as he explores social networking and its impact on culture and the church. Filled with fresh perspectives and provocative questions, The Church of Facebook encourages us to pursue authentic relationships with God and those around us.

About the Author

Jesse Rice is a Contemporary Worship Arts Director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a large and thriving congregation in the heart of Silicon Valley. Living at this crossroads of faith and technology, Jesse is an authority on the search for meaning in a fast-paced, too-much-information world. He is a sought-after worship leader with almost fifteen years of experience working with college students and young adults. He and his wife live in Palo Alto, California.



More About the Author

You can find Jesse Rice at:

Jesse Rice is an author, musician, and counselor with a passion for helping people live well in a hyperconnected world. He lives in Bellevue, Washington, and is married to Katie, who is also a musician ( Jesse enjoys reading, writing, spending time with family and friends, walking, hiking, and running. He has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Jesse enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

Customer Reviews

Rice offers practical advice about how to use Facebook, in general.
If you're interested in thinking more deeply about the ways social networks like Facebook are affecting Christian community, read Jesse's book.
Justin Smith
Jesse has done his research well and the book is very interesting because of it.
Chad Estes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Chad Estes on September 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I heard about Jesse Rice's book, "The Church of Facebook: How the Wireless Generation is Redefining Community" from an interview he did on a podcast. The topic of online community and whether or not it can be authentic is of interest to me.

I wasn't sure what to expect; perhaps a Christianized critique of the whole social networking phenomenon complete with a set of warnings for believers and suggested rules for underage children. Thankfully this is not Jesse's book. Instead it opens with a fascinating story of the opening day on the Millennium Bridge crossing the Thames River in London. The unexpected shaking that day on the pedestrian footbridge is similar to the online spectacle of Facebook and other social networking sites. Jesse uses this and several other stories at the beginning of each chapter to create a historical framework for interpreting our online interactions. Jesse has done his research well and the book is very interesting because of it.

The science of connecting with others, of creating a "home" where we feel safe is the subject of chapter one. This is followed by a chapter on revolutionary changes to society and how Facebook is set up to be, if it not already is, a world changer. Chapter three delves into the controls people have of their online presence, of the information they choose to share online with others on their profiles. He poses the question of what we will do with the power we have to create, to shape society, with our online influence. Chapter four studies the impact that all of the new information has on an individual, understanding that people have adapted their behavior with this new way to connect with people, share information and collect new data.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Paul Steinbrueck on December 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
In Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community, Jesse Rice writes about the need for community, which is deeply engrained in all of us. He explains how Facebook has exploded in popularity by tapping into our desires for connectedness and a place to call home. And he takes a look at some of the ways social networking is impacting individuals and communities.

Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom contained in the book.

CPA - Continuous Partial Attention - This is the impulse to constantly check Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. It's motivated by the desire to not miss anything. It creates an artificial sense of crisis. It can cause a person to become over stimulated and unable to focus on what's right in front of him. (P 102)

"In affect the hyperconnection of Facebook changes the nature of our relationships by turning our friends into audiences and us into performances... Our actions are often based on what we think our invisible entourage might like best." (P 112)

People can become dependent on Facebook for their identity, self-worth, and decision making. (P 145, paraphrase)

"[Genuine] community is less about `best-friendship' and more about intentional engagement with the people in our lives... maybe it's not the increasingly online nature of our relationships that is affecting our relationships most. Perhaps it is our `relational consumerism' that needs changing." (P 172 & 173)

"Life can all to often feel like little more than a knee-jerk reaction to urgent emails, phone calls, meetings, and decisions." (P 190)

The book concludes with a some good tips on how to manage life in this always-on, hyperconnected world many of us find ourselves in today.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Kendall VINE VOICE on November 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I first saw this book, I thought it was going to be about the evils of Facebook and how it is causing our society to pull away from God even more. As I have said before, I tend to make snap decisions about whether or not to read a book. I usually just need to be intrigued by the title or what little of the description I have read. The Church of Facebook was not at all what I was expecting. It is a very interesting look at our need to belong and how social networking sites are bringing people closer together and in turn closer to God through our online social networks.

I am an introvert, a serious introvert, so when I first discovered Facebook, I was thrilled. Not only did it allow me to connect with family and friends without having to pick up the dreaded telephone, but it also has connected me with others who share my faith and has given me a place to share my faith with others. Reading The Church of Facebook reminded me what it is I like so much about social networking. This book is very well researched and thoughtful. I found the author's insights to be interesting and encouraging about the future of the internet and evangelism. This is a good book for any Christian who is already on Facebook for just thinking about it. The Church of Facebook shines an interesting light on social networking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm currently in the process of studying how our new technologies, including the social media are changing us. I've reviewed a growing number of articles and books, and almost all of them have a few useful things to say and contribute to my increasing understanding. But The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice is one of the finest I've come across yet. There is a lot of wisdom in this book about the media we use, as well as a good start in thinking about how we can more wisely use them.

Rice is a writer and musician with a master's degree in counseling psychology who previously served as a worship arts director. He has a bright future as a writer.

The Church of Facebook is actually partially misnamed: Rice doesn't relate Facebook much directly to the church or even use the church as a metaphor for Facebook, although he does deal with community (as the subtitle suggests). What he does do (and does well) is to analyze the ways that the social media, exemplified by Facebook, are changing our behavior and relationships. Unlike some of the other books on the topic I've read, Rice has gone beyond the mere truisms that any book on the subject can tell you. Instead, he goes deeper into the hows and whys of how Facebook and other social media are changing us, and not necessarily for the better.

Rice chose Facebook (FB from now on) because it best represents 3 realities that are work in the technologies we use:

1. "There is a force capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order."
2. "This spontaneous order can generate outcomes that are entirely new and unpredictable."
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