This week, ALONE officially hits the bookstore shelves, online downloading applications, and I'll be traveling the country telling people of this incredibly insightful message. The thesis of the book is simple, Even though we're more connected than any generation ever in existence, we find ourselves all alone.
It's been a 5 year project, and most publishers were wary of risking a book on a title called ALONE, but the folks over at NavPress took a chance and I'm grateful. I'm grateful, not because they took a chance on me, necessarily, but because this is THE issue of this generation. Just think about it...
We are watching the first generation grow up inside a Facebook World. Before 2004, there was no such thing as Facebook.
YouTube wasn't even an idea previous to 2000, and Google was simply a Big Number before 2000.
So what are the implications?
We are watching students who've replaced the valuable lessons of learning how to interact as humans regulated to a self-preservation lifestyle. There's no risk of rejection. Even though we call it "Social Networking" the platforms are anything but social. You can be whoever you want to be behind the walls of a Facebook platform. On Twitter, you've been given 140 characters to get your ideas out to the world.
I'm not at all trying to demonize these tools, they've made gathering together much easier. With groups, followers, ability to post messages, and communication; we ARE more connected. So why is it when I talk to teens around the world they say THE #1 problem in life is they don't feel like anyone knows them?
Please know, I'm not trying to take down Facebook.
I'm not trying to be a trendy pastor attacking a popular media outlet.
I'm genuinely worried about the ability students have to "Rejoice with those who Rejoice. And Mourn with those who Mourn."
We don't know how to do that anymore.
ALONE highlights real time stories of students who are finally able to talk with freedom about their addiction to the internet. They explain how texting someone and not hearing back within the first minute skews their perception of acceptance. They give real insight to why Teen Suicide rates continue to climb in pockets around the country. And ultimately ALONE gives a few helpful tips about how to develop friendships that will run deep.
The book launch is officially October 15, and I'll be running articles all week about how this book could help Students, Youth Leaders, Parents, Coaches, Mentors, and lets be honest; US, be able to identify why we feel so empty inside without the proper level of friendships in our own world.
Here's a video we made to help convey the message of the book. I hope you like it...It's only 1:58. So take some time, watch the video and let me know what you think. Tomorrow...The first Chapter, right here, online at andybraner.com