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The Church of Facebook: How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community Paperback – October 1, 2009
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From the Back Cover
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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."
3.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not really a book that I was interested in. That's my opinion only. Others may really like it.Published 6 months ago by Debbie White
The last couple of chapters are the nucleus of the book, what you look forward to. I got a bit lost in the examples at first but the author masterfully connected everything in the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by dennise gonzalez
Let me start with a few things theologically that need be addressed:
I cannot endorse the beliefs that people should be accepted by God as they are. Read more
The information in this book is very much appreciated. The way we all need society and to be connected and the ways that social mdia fails to meet those needs is laid out very... Read morePublished 11 months ago by P. L. Steele
Jesse Rice's "The Church of Facebook" is a book that helps us see how the Internet (and various other types of wireless communication) not only is redefining, but already... Read morePublished 12 months ago by JohnAroundTheCornerReviews
I enjoyed this book very much. It had a great deal to say about intentionality. I think that is a topic that is far too often overlooked in our day and age. Read morePublished on April 22, 2014 by Eric Dunn