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: Confidence about friendship

Lynne Baab • Thursday December 13 2018

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Confidence about friendship

Despite the challenges I’ve been writing about in recent posts, most of the people I interviewed for my book on friendship were confident they knew how to develop and nurture friendships. Many expressed frustration about the implications in their daily life of three obstacles mentioned in previous posts — the tendency of electronic communication to be impersonal, busy schedules, and friends who live far away — but only a few expressed concerns that they don’t really know how to go about making and keeping friends.

The generational patterns in the interviews were fascinating. Just about everyone with whom I spoke was concerned...

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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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