Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WWJMB or What would Jesus Micro-Blog?

In recent discussions of religion in a Web 2.0 era (a term which btw gets my knickers in a twist, but that's another blog post...) speculations has been raised about the impact of Facebook and Twitters as modes of spreading religious content. In Finding religious community online in a Web 2.0 era journalist Joshunda Sanders for the Austin Statesman suggests that the current generation of Social media are becoming important tools for publicize church events to broader audiences and helping solidify prayer support. While interesting individual examples can be found I do wonder what the long range impact of these technologies, esp. on religious cultures. Microblogging has become a much talked about phenomenon and framed as a potential new news medium. However a recent study from professors at Rutgers have found that tweeting is really "all about me". Their analysis of Twitter found 80% of users we "me-formers", and rather than sharing information were all about providing personal status update. This is further fodder that the Internet is contributing to rise in networked individualism. I wonder if this trend is also mirrored among religious microbloggers. Interestingly Sanders also recently blogged about a study from professors at Gordon College that found Facebook might be bad for young Christians in that the compulsive me focus of Facebook might be a distraction to religious discipline. Interesting thoughts.

If there are others out there researching these issues let me know.

1 comment:

Monty said...

I agree with Joshunda Sanders; I'd even go farther, in regards to persons age 18-28: social networks online have become not just supplemental, but a replacement to other forms of communication in regards to prayer requests, prayer meeting, and occasional meetups of groups for a particular focus, cause, or concern.