Facebook and its Spiritual Uses

Facebook and its Spiritual Uses August 7, 2012

From Kristin Deasy:

Only six percent of Facebook users have joined a faith-based group in America, despite the fact that nearly half the country uses the social-networking site a couple times a week and over 80% of the population ascribes to some form of religion.

The research, released this week by Public Religion Research Institute, also found that the most active spiritual users of social media are members of Christianity’s evangelical movement — not surprising given its fervent proselytizing ways.

But even this group is less active than you might think, with less than 20 percent of white evangelical Protestants having said something church-related on their personal Facebook page or other social networking site, according to the study.

The institute’s head, Robert Jones, told CNN“[w]e were a little bit surprised” by the findings, saying they had assumed “there would be a higher usage given all the press that has surrounded pastors on Twitter and people posting prayers online.”

But Americans also traditionally value keeping their religion private, and with concerns growing over the safety of information shared on social-networking platforms, this might help explain the lack of online faith-based activity.


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