cover image Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape

Always On: Practicing Faith in a New Media Landscape

Angela Williams Gorrell. Baker Academic, $22.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5409-6009-2

In this inspired debut, Gorrell, lecturer in religion at Yale University, offers research and timely tips on how to live a faithful life that glorifies God online and off. Gorrell begins with two goals: to educate readers on the potential power of new media, and to help them align their view of humanity more closely with God’s own. Gorrell cautions that always being connected on social media fosters a warped view of people as brands, commodities, or avatars. By considering “what Jesus would do” if he were online, the author helps readers think through how they can love others well, even in cyberspace. Academic in its argumentation, but welcoming in tone, the book is peppered with personal stories and easily implemented tips. For instance, Gorrell suggests confirming something’s actually true before posting it and choosing to encourage spiritual growth instead of focusing solely on “impression management” on social media. To help leaders spark productive discussions in their faith communities, Gorrell provides questions, for example, “When and how will I rest from using new media?” and “What will we do when we encounter suffering online?” With both a call-to-action and personal reflection, Gorrell presents valuable tools for Christian users of social media. (May)