A survey’s finding that few Americans use social media to connect with churches and other religious groups has those who conducted the research astonished.
“We were a little bit surprised,” Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Institute, told CNN in a story published Aug. 6. “We thought there would be a higher usage, given all the press that has surrounded pastors on Twitter and people posting prayers online.”
But one minister and social media advocate said the survey language may have been too narrow in definining what it means to connect with a faith community via social media.
“I’m wondering if they (respondents) just didn’t understand the questions,” said Mike Gregg, minister of educational life at Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, and a big user of social media for religious purposes. “I’m a first adopter in social media and technology and how it relates to the church world and being Baptist.”
The survey revealed that 11 percent of participants post status updates “about being in church,” and that 7 percent “say they have sent or read e-mail during services.” It also found that 6 percent have joined “a religious or spiritual group on Facebook.”
But Gregg said such measurements aren’t the last word in how many people – and most that he knows – are actually expressing or experiencing their faith in an online context. People may not join a specific group online, he said, but they are more likely to connect with fellow church members through social media.
“The question is, what does it mean to be a ‘religious community’ online?” Gregg asked.
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article courtesy of BCNN1.com