chapter  7
12 Pages

Th e Internet

Of those who are affi liated with a religious group, the vast majority (74%) use the Internet (Pew data reported by Sifry, 2010). Among regular weekly church attendees, 75% own cell phones and 52% use text messaging. Fift y percent of online adults who also attend church weekly, have a social networking site profi le (Sifry, 2010). More than 3 million individuals in the United States access online religious material daily (Larsen, 2004) and 64% of “wired” Americans go online for reasons related to religion or spirituality (Hoover, Clark, & Rainie, 2004). By the early 1980s, the Internet was being used for religious purposes (Campbell, 2010b). About 44% of U.S. churches have their own Web sites (National Opinion Research Center, 2006-2007). While religion is highly visible on the Internet, researchers are only beginning to grasp how this technology is used in religious worship.1 Campbell (2010a) notes: “It is likely that as new innovations, programs, and networks emerge so will religious applications and alternatives” (p. 25).