chapter  6
36 Pages

God-mobs: Virtually religious community

The extent of technological development in social media in the last decade is startling, as evident in Howard Rheingold’s naive wonder at his own latetwentieth-century predictions. Writing a mere five years after the first web browser was written, Rheingold prognosticated:

Today’s bedroom electronic bulletin boards, regional computer conferencing systems, global computer networks offer clues to what might happen when more powerful technology comes along … We’ll be able to transfer the Library of Congress from any point on the globe to any another point in seconds, upload and download full-motion digital video at will. But is that really what people are likely to do with all that bandwidth and computing power? … How will people actually use the desktop supercomputers and multimedia telephones that the engineers tell us we’ll have in the near future?