1 in 5 Americans share their religious thoughts and experiences on social networks, and nearly half said they saw someone else post “something about their religious faith” on the Internet, according to a Pew Research Center study on religion and electronic media.
New research completed by Pew has revealed that 1 in 5 Americans who hold a religious belief are sharing that religious faith online every week – and almost half of Americans see religious content on social media on a daily basis.
This new knowledge has totally revolutionized the way that we see the internet and social media as a medium of religious information and debate. The very fact that 46% of people living in the United States of America sees something that includes religious content on social media demonstrates not only that many people will follow religious Twitter accounts, but also that many people are choosing to post content that contains religious overtones.
What is really surprising about this research is that it keys in very closely with other media that many people watch, look at, and listen to. In fact, the exact same percentage of people that share their religious faith online – 20% – is the same percentage of people that listen to religious radio talk shows, the same percentage of people that watch television programs geared towards a religious audience and even the same percentage of people that listen to Christian rock music.
It is, of course, impossible to tell whether it is the same 1 in 5 people that are engaging with all of these activities, or whether if collected together a much higher percentage of the population were in some way involved with religious media. Nonetheless, it is clear that religious messages seem to be just as easily transmitted by the pages that someone likes on Facebook or an Instagram account that someone follows than through the more expected format of receiving religious instruction.