Nurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationSabbath Keeping FastingPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthA Renewed SpiritualityDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelPersonality Type in CongregationsBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Changing definitions of friendship

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 6 2018

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Changing definitions of friendship

I asked several dozen people whether the use of “friend” to refer to contacts on social networking websites is changing the way they understand friendship. All of them said no.

A good number of people who responded to my question, ranging in age from late teens to late forties, said that all their contacts on Facebook are people they already know fairly well or very well. So calling them friends is appropriate.

The rest of the people who responded to my question said that they have a variety of ways of referring to a Facebook friend who they do not know in person...

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Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Two views about communication technologies

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 29 2018

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Two views about communication technologies

My sons represent two significant viewpoints about friendships and new communication technologies. My younger son believes that this is the best time in human history for friendships, simply because of the many options for staying connected. “I can be on a business trip in New York City,” he said, “and I see something in a shop window that reminds me of a friend in Europe. I can pull out my cell phone and flip him a text message. Or I can send him an email or instant message with him. I can post something on Facebook or on my blog that...

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Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: My conversation partners about friendship

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 22 2018

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: My conversation partners about friendship

In preparation for writing my book on friendship, I interviewed dozens of people ranging in age from 12 to 85. They said fantastic and fascinating things about friendship. I used their voices throughout the book, and I also drew on the voices of some of my closest family members, with whom I’ve been discussing friendship all my life.

My mother, now in her mid-nineties, has been a powerful model of friendship for me. She has always had a small group of close friends and a whopping circle of other friends and acquaintances. She is always open to making a new friend at...

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Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Strong opinions and responses

Lynne Baab • Thursday November 15 2018

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Strong opinions and responses

It was a bit daunting, a few years ago, to undertake the writing of a book on friendship, because so many people have such vehement opinions about social media. I have read their forceful views online in blogs and newspapers, and in print as well. I’ve heard strong opinions from friends and family members. Opinions on the subject of friendship today, and especially the role of online communication, vary tremendously.

On the one hand, many writers have expressed their passionate opinion—usually based on their own experience—that the many new communication technologies facilitate friendships in fresh and exciting ways. All these new ways...

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Lynne Baab • Friday February 5 2016

This article won a 2017 award from the Australian Religious Press Association for the best social justice article. Social justice didn't cross my mind as I wrote the article. I was just thi...