From Virtual Friends to Authentic Relationships
With the rise of social media, more of us are managing our relationships online instead of in person. Technology that was meant to make communication easier and faster for busy people may have met its goal, but often at the expense of intimacy and meaningful conversation. In many cases, friendship has become a status decided by the click of a mouse. Kindling a relationship or cutting one off is as simple as "friending" someone or removing that person from your list. And someone with a thousand-plus online pals may be the loneliest person on the planet.
If you can identify, you're not alone. That's because each of us is wired to thrive in the context of real relationships; live interaction with real individuals, such as is shared by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It's how we give and receive emotional sustenance and support. Yet this type of intimacy can't be achieved online.
Join Donna Carter on a journey to stronger, more satisfying relationships as you explore:
The risks of being vulnerable and why they're worth it
Qualities to seek out in a friend, as well as to cultivate in your own life
Toxic relationships and how to avoid them
Steps toward reconciliation, including forgiveness
The purpose of solitude in refreshing the soul
Experience a richness in your human relationships that you've never experienced before. And, as you do, draw closer to the One who designed you to love and be loved, by other people and by Him.
About The Author:
Donna Carter has a unique ability to synthesize life experience into digestible life lessons. She is sought after as a speaker in Canada and internationally because of her clarity, humor and the light-bulb moments she triggers for women seeking help on their spiritual journeys.
Donna grew up in a family of girls and has always loved to be with other women. She has often been known to say, "A good women's event has to involve laughing, crying, and hugging." In other words, having fun, letting our emotional guard down enough for truth to deeply touch us, and experiencing community with other women are values Donna holds dear. These are the things she seeks to facilitate where ever she speaks.
Donna has spoken in small Bible study settings, large conference settings, and the retreat settings that fall in between. She also loves outreach events and has an ability to present the gospel in a clear, "seeker-friendly" way that is well received by many different types of audiences.
Donna's passion is to be real, get down to real issues, and explore how God's Word speaks to those issues. Donna lives in Calgary, Canada, with her husband, Randy, who is a youth speaker, and her two daughters, Kendall and Kevann. Her first book, 10 Smart Things Women Can Do to Build a Better Life, was released in the fall of 2007 and is now being distributed in five countries.
With the introduction of social media like Facebook, My Space, Twitter and others over the last 10 years it has become increasingly apparent that face-to-face relationships are becoming harder to start and even harder to maintain.
As I read Friend Me, I sadly found myself being convicted and challenged about my own friendships and relationships. As a stay at home mom, one of the biggest challenges I find I have is connecting in person regularly with friends. I love that I can connect online with many people and I have developed several very strong relationships that way. However, nothing can take the place of a real life hug when you need it or sitting and crying with a friend when that is necessary.
Donna Carter discusses this and many other ideas in Friend Me. She writes with a conversational style and I felt that when reading I was right in a room listening to her speak on the topics you read about in the book.
My favorite chapter was on Toxic Relationships, how to recognize them and deal with them in order to develop and maintain health relationships. In the last couple of years I have realized that several relationships in my life were in fact toxic and needed replacing. It was not easy, lots of tears were shed but ultimately it was necessary and I have flourished despite the letting go. Through these experiences and reading Friend Me, I have realized I need to step out of my comfort zone to really become vulnerable and deepen the several great friendships I have. I also loved the final chapter about the Ultimate Friendship with have with God and its only through a friendship with Him that we can have healthy friendships here on Earth.
This is perfect book to read personally but would also make a great small group study.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Friend Me at your favorite book retailer from Whitaker House
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Whitaker House, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***