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Friday, December 23, 2011

Religion, Civic Life, and Social Media

A new report from the Pew Research Center involves religion and community service, a key linkage that we discuss in our chapter on civic culture.
Some 40% of Americans are active in a church, religious, or spiritual organization. Compared with those who are not involved with such organizations, religiously active Americans are more trusting of others, are more optimistic about their impact on their community, think more highly of their community, are more involved in more organizations of all kinds, and devote more time to the groups to which they are active.
 A survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project asked people about their membership in 28 different kinds of organizations and clubs. Religious and spiritual organizations topped the list and those who were active in such groups were more active in all kinds of groups. The average number of groups that religiously active Americans are active in is 5.61, and those who are not involved with religious groups participate in 2.11 groups.
Those who are active in religious groups spend an average of 7.5 of hours per week in group activities compared with 5.4 hours for those not active in a religious group.
When it comes to their technology profile, Americans who are members of religious groups are just as likely as others to use the internet, have broadband at home, use cell phones, use text messaging, and use social networking sites and Twitter.
Read the full report for detailed findings on the levels of community involvement among religious Americans and how they use the different technologies such as the internet, text messaging and social networking sites.