Religion and Telling Your Story

by admin on December 28, 2011

Http://MyLifeAudio.Com

This site is devoted to prompting people to tell their life and family histories and for many; religion “is” the fundamental reason for sharing.

It’s interesting as to how the religious like the internet and see it as valuable to their efforts.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently created a statistical overview of the internet use of those religiously active (see below). Those of us doing social media have always known that there are groups that interact well on the internet and there are those that don’t.

The religious community transcends barriers as to internet savvy or age or income. They tend to be highly motivated. They will learn or do whatever they have to do to exchange information or to participate.

I’ve seen order individuals with limited to no computer experience go to classes and learn how to participate just so they can see the Pope say mass or to interact with the faithful. It’s no stretch that those expressing fear of a computer go out and make a purchase just to be part of an international community of their favorite religious leader.

Note that the research below does not necessarily indicate that the religious use the internet at higher rates (in some cases they do) but what it does say is that the religious are active users and see a web presence as very useful in accomplishing organizational goals.

So the bottom-line for many is a desire to share their religious experiences. Religion means so much to so many and includes a desire to share, to testify, to make sure that others (especially children and grandchildren) understand their experiences and the positive role that religion has played in their life.

Selected summary of Pew research.

Some 40% of Americans say they are active in a church, religious, or spiritual organization.

A survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project asked people about their membership in 28 different kinds of organizations and clubs. Religious and spiritual organizations topped the list, and those who were active in such groups were more active in all kinds of groups (not necessarily internet based).

With regard to technology, religiously active Americans use the internet, email, broadband, cell phones and social media platforms at similar rates to other Americans.

Americans who are members of religious groups are also engaged with core technology at levels similar to or higher than the overall population. Asked about their technology usage:

79% of Americans who are active in religious groups are internet users, compared with 75% of those not involved with religious groups

86% of Americans who are active in religious groups are cell phone users, compared with 80% of those not involved with religious groups

75% of religiously active Americans are email users, compared with 68% of those who are not involved with religious groups.

46% of these religiously active Americans use social networking sites such as Facebook, compared with 49% of those who are not involved with religious groups.

9% of these religiously active Americans use Twitter, compared with 10% of those not involved with religious groups

When people are asked about their group activities, it is clear that they believe the internet is having a wide-ranging impact on their own engagement within civic and social groups.  This is true for all Americans, including those who are active in religious groups and organizations.  Asked to assess the overall impact of the internet on group activities:

68% of Americans who are active in religious groups (internet users and non-users alike) said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to communicate with members.

62% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to draw attention to an issue.

57% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to connect with other groups.

58% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to impact society at large.

57% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to organize activities.

46% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to raise money.

44% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to recruit new members.

46% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to impact local communities.

30% of Americans who are active in religious groups said the internet has had a major impact on the ability of groups to find people to take leadership roles.

Source: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-side-of-religious/Overview.aspx

Best, Len.

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