The greater the use of the Internet, the less religiosity there is

Religion has been present in the daily life of human beings thousands of years before the birth of civilizations. The different forms of religiosity are based on rituals and symbols, and these elements are already present in time and caves, and even in Neanderthals.

However, although we have lived for millennia in more or less similar ways, over the past few decades our species has been rocked by a series of technological and cultural revolutions that have transformed society as a whole. And, as great material changes also generate changes in ideas, religiosity has been transformed. In fact, a recent study indicates that something as common as the use of Internet is linked to less belief in religion.

    More internet fondness, less religious sentiment

    Religion is a very complex thing, and across different human societies there are great differences not only in the majority religions but also in the degree of religiosity. While atheism and agnosticism were a marginal thing decades ago, they are increasingly common in Western societies, especially in countries considered to be the “first world” in which there is a welfare state. strong and extreme poverty is relatively low.

    However, beyond the place where one lives and the social class to which one belongs, there are other factors related to the belief more or less in a religion, and it seems that the use of the Internet in either one. Paul K. McLure, author of the study, based the research on data from a national survey in the United States, the Baylor Religion Survey, which collected information from approximately 1,700 adults living in that country. Among the items of this questionnaire, there were questions about the level of religiosity and faith, and usual (or not) internet use.

    Although the use of this virtual tool was associated with less contact with religion, this link had nuances. For example, it had nothing to do with how often one participates in specific religious activities, such as weddings or baptisms, but with the intensity (or absence of) religious beliefs.

    In addition, those who spent more hours connected to the network of networks were less likely to claim that a religion was true and others not. In other words, they tended to treat all religions more fairly, as if they were the same. Interesting way, it was not the same with the time you spent watching TV.

    What is the reason for this?

    It should be noted that this research found correlations, and not a relationship that must necessarily be cause and effect. Surfing the internet more can reduce the intensity of religiosity, but less religious people can also surf more (although the study isolated the influence of social class, race, level of education, location). political ideology and other important elements). However, McLure believes there is reason to believe that the internet has had an impact on how we position ourselves in relation to religion.

    Tendency to isolation

    Frequent internet use can lead to isolation and living a lifestyle that is different from others when you are not working. Since religion is almost always based on shared rituals, this can affect beliefs: do not habitually expose yourself to these customs in the family or community it weakens the importance of religiosity for a person.

    However, as we have seen, these people are no longer absent from important religious events; in any case, they would not go to those of less importance: family prayers and other frequent rituals.

    Bias towards rational thought

    Another characteristic of the Internet is that it contains an almost infinite amount of information. Although today we do not give it much importance, it is an exceptional thing that without the help of anyone we can access to all kinds of content that allows us to learn about all subjects relatively autonomously.

    This means that these previously seemed unanswered questions, giving way to speculation based on mysticism and magical thinking, can now be answered in minutes thanks to search engines like Google. Think, for example, of the possibility of understanding how the evolution of species works, beyond the caricature of “we came from the frog”. If there is no mystery, the feeling that “there is something more” diminishes.

    Religions stand firm

    Although the use of the Internet is more and more widespread and the proportion of non-believers is increasing, there is no doubt that religions continue to enjoy very good health. Our tech habits are unlikely to make them go away without further delay.

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