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5 Stars Out Of 5
December 30, 2009
If you are online (which you are since you are reading this), then you should read this book. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still very good. It really made me stop and take account of how I am using my time and how social networking can be handled properly and for good, not just a waste of time. I learned alot of interesting things about human behavior and really enjoyed the stories/examples Jesse shared in order to flesh out his main points. Plus the book has some great little bits of humor, and that is a rare (and welcome) thing in a genre that can get a little dry. This book was very easy to read, but that doesn't mean there was no substance. I really dug this book.
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 authors 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.
The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice is a surprisingly good read. There are a ton of books on the market with Christians trying to analyze the current culture and how social networking sites relate to religion. This isn't those books; trust me, I've read quite a few. Rice, who has a Master's degree in counseling psychology, uses several different studies of human development and psychology to explain the sudden popularity of Facebook which has only been around since 2004 and has exploded since 2007. Humans require connectivity, and we find that through Facebook, but it's a pseudo-connectedness where we control every aspect of contact allowing only superficiality.<br /><br />The charm of this book is Rice's humor. He injects just a touch of sarcasm to alleviate the weight of the scientific studies. He doesn't force religion on every page either. He talks about Jesus and how he truly connected with people. Rice doesn't condemn using Facebook instead he offers ways of making the connections we make with other users more real and reflective of our faith. This book isn't just for Christians but for anyone interested in understanding just why Facebook is just so addictive.