Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Church of Facebook

Why did you select this book? What did you hope to gain from it?
I selected this book because I work at Family Christian Stores as the receiver and when I received this book, I immediately thought of my Marketing class. I thought it would be very interesting to read a book about Facebook that was written from a Christian perspective. I was hoping that the book would not be another book written by a Christian trying to explain away the idea of Facebook with tons of Bible verses. The author Jesse Rice has tailored this book so that anyone could read it and understand some key aspects of Facebook and what makes us comfortable or uncomfortable in using Facebook. In a blog written by Chad Estes he reviewed Jesse’s book and said:

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. (http://captainestes.blogspot.com/2009/07/church-of-facebook.html 10/19/2009)
What is the book is about? What is the subject matter, and why was it written?
This book is about the phenomenon that is Facebook and why people all over the world are drawn to website and feel comfortable using this hyperconnected community. This book talks about the way our relationships are changing based on the way people now connect. Facebook plays a huge role in the way people interact with one another. Instead of calling someone on the phone or meeting them for coffee now we just chat with them online. There are six different chapters that Jesse goes through in his book:

  1. Connection—In this first chapter Rice talks about how, “the reality of our innate need for connection is often most clearly revealed in the experience of dis-connection” (Rice 35).
  2. Revolution
  3. Dispensation
  4. Illumination—Before Facebook, Rice says, “Our social worlds…were more clearly divided” (125). Now a person can be friends with their boss, teacher, coworkers, and friends.
  5. Adaptation—This chapter posses the question, “Does online community really satisfy our relational needs” (Rice 164)?
  6. Regeneration—Because of the fact that we are an always on society this last chapter has some great insight on how to slow down and use Facebook better.

What general type of book is it and what is it's format?
This book would be found in the Christian section of a bookstore such as Barnes and Noble or Boarders. At Family Christian this book is considered Christian Living. The book is broken up into three sections:

  1. There is a force that is capable of synchronizing a large population in very little time, thereby creating spontaneous order (Rice 23)
  2. This spontaneous order can generate outcomes that are entirely new and unpredictable (Rice 87)
  3. These unpredictable outcomes require the affected population to adapt their behavior to more adequately live within the new spontaneously generated order (Rice 151).

What other books are similar to it? Identify the key competitive set?

After looking online at Amazon to see if there were any other books like this one, the only one that is kind of like it is Flickering Pixels: How Technology Shapes Your Faith by Shane Hipps. Jesse Rice’s book has only been on the market for one or two months. The Church of Facebook, is kind of a category all of its own.

Who is/are the author(s) and what are his/her/their qualifications for writing it?

The author is Jesse Rice; he is writer and sought after worship leader and speaker. He holds a Masters degreeUniversity of Santa Clara. in counseling psychology from the

Who is the intended audience?

The audience is anyone who has ever used Facebook.

What is the primary value delivered from the book?

I think that Rice said it best at the end of his book, “we can learn to utilize the brilliant but simple tools in form of us to creatively and joyfully take something good and make it better” (Rice 216).

Given similar books, to what degree would you recommend it?

Since this is really the first book that I have read like this, I thought it was a great read. Normally I would not have picked up this book to read at all. However it was very interesting and well written, it was an easy read and his style of writing makes you want to keep on reading. This book really makes you think about how our online interactions are really changing how we live in real life as opposed to our virtual life.

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