Is Facebook the downfall of the church? Is it replacing face-to-face relationships with depersonalized digital contact? Elizabeth Drescher isn’t convinced. Drawing on the work of others, she highlights the fact that Facebook can enrich and enliven social relationships. Rather than spark new relationships that stretch us, keeping us from cultivating depth with our closest fellows, Facebook and other social media can, and some argue already do, bolster established relationships.
Maybe more provocatively, the most pressing threat to strong (“thick”) relations of fellowship between members may be the church itself, content on cordial (read “friendly”), shallow interactions (so long as pledges are fulfilled). Rather than deflect attention away from problems of fellowship in the church by demonizing Facebook, maybe the church needs to focus more intently and purposefully on cultivating deep relationships–and, yes, maybe even using Facebook to do it!