The notion of friendship is under broad review. A highly mobile and increasingly busy society--rootless, some might argue--means that most of our relationships can't depend solely on face-to-face contact to flourish.
The increasing prominence of the virtual landscape--where the language of friendship has been co-opted to describe relationships ranging from intimate to meaningless--requires that we become fluent in ever-expanding relational technologies. It's never been easy to be a friend, but it seems to be getting tougher by the nanosecond.
In Friending, Lynne Baab collects the insights, hopes and regrets of people from across the spectrum of age and life circumstance and syncs them with the wisdom of the Bible. Using Colossians 3 and 1 Corinthians 13 as touchpoints, Lynne shows us how we can celebrate and strengthen our relational ties while continuing to practice the timeless discipline of friending in our time.
"Challenging those who decry online communication as shallow and banal, Friending offers guidelines and multiple examples of the way close relationships can be maintained and deepened through Facebook and other Internet connections. Writing in the brisk style of digital messaging, Lynne Baab convincingly shows how the biblical virtues of caring, sharing, loving and forgiving can survive and thrive in a world where busyness and mobility have become the norm."
"Lynne Baab has written a warm and practical meditation on friendship that embraces all of the challenges and opportunities that accompany its practice in our day and age. In fact, there is little about this topic that Baab does not address. While that may be attributable to her skill as a researcher and a writer, it is as likely that she writes from her own deep commitment to and experience of friendship. Like friendship itself, Baab's book is a rich resource that invites and rewards personal investment. Make friends with this book."
"Friends are so important to me! But today there are more forces pushing us apart--as well as new media to bring us together--than ever before in history. Lynne Baab explores a world of options and encourages us to redevelop the art of friendship for a new era. This book is full of practical tools, winsome stories and keen insights. I'm hooked."
"Lynne Baab offers interesting reflection on the changing nature of friendship in a networked society, where relationships are increasingly cultivated and sustained through social media. Using engaging real-life examples she asks important questions about how friendships may be shaped in certain directions when mediated through technology and the potential spiritual consequences of these interactions. Importantly the book calls readers to personally consider the intentionality and motivations behind their own friendship practices to uncover what values they stem from and the social world they may cultivate."
"As we've come to expect from Lynne Baab, inside Friending are thoughtful questions, fascinating research and excellent biblical analysis. I found her discussion on the new wave of technology and how this impacts relationships quite illuminating. This would be an excellent book for small groups to discuss and for anyone who wants help in how to be a faithful friend--to God, to our families and to our circle of friends."
"This book is extremely relevant and interesting, and at the heart, it is really about getting to the core of what friendship is."
"Refreshing, informative and compelling."
Acknowledgments and Dedication
1 Real Relationships
2 Friendship Then and Now
3 Friendship Goes Virtual
4 Challenges from Technology
5 Challenges beyond Technology
6 Friendship with God
8 Listening - Remembering - Praying
9 Asking - Giving - Thanking
10 Sharing - Caring - Being Together - Being Apart
11 Pacing - Choosing
12 Accepting - Forgiving
13 A Friendship Experiment
Appendix A: Discussion/Reflection Questions About Other Friendship Topics