The Internet has revolutionized the way we think about everything. A hundred years ago, there was practically no one who could predict a means of communicating and transmitting data that would be made. It has revolutionized our lives in every possible way, and it changed them forever. People use the Internet for virtually everything these days; from paying their bills and shopping, to ordering food and working, all from the comfort of their own home. Things that used to take hours, days, and even months are now incredibly easy to do, thanks to this widespread international network, which continues to grow every day.
Has the Internet changed?
The Internet was certainly not imagined like this, back when it was developed for military purposes; there is hardly anybody who could have predicted that it would grow so much and become a world in itself, with communities and tons of material which make it a serious rival to the real world. Aside from changing in itself, the Internet has also changed us, including the way we think and the way we organize our time; our lives have become faster, and we can squeeze in more work or other activities in the day, which, unfortunately, may reflect negatively on our private life, as well as our spirituality. Thankfully, people have found a way around this by pursuing religion online.
How can one do that?
There are numerous ways that people can pursue religion online; we need not think of going to church as the only way of being religious. The Internet provides a very large choice of books, texts, debates and sermons that can be read and contemplated from the comfort of one’s home. If that does not suffice, you will be pleased to know that there are more and more virtual churches that you can attend without ever leaving your room; they usually require you to have a VR headset, but for some, you just need to have a computer with an Internet connection. By challenging the traditional views when it comes to going to church, we may even see online churches becoming a serious threat to old-school ones, precisely because of their accessibility.
Why is accessibility important?
This aspect of seeking out religion online can be very appealing to many people. Primarily, there are people who cannot, for health or other reasons, attend regular churches. Disabilities of different kinds may leave people bedridden and unable to explore their religion and spirituality. However, the Internet also provides a safe place for people who are very shy or introverted to connect with other religious people and share their experiences from their individual religious journeys. A sense of community is very important in most religions, and the Internet has provided some incredibly easy and safe ways to form communities about basically anything; a good example of this is Reddit, which consists of countless communities united by a common topic or belief. Moreover, online access to religious materials can also have different good sides.
What are some other good sides to finding religion online?
Sometimes, people are just curious to find out more about a particular religion, not necessarily their own. For example, when a terrorist attack occurs, if that attack is linked to a particular terrorist group, people often try to learn about the religious views of that particular group, in order to try to protect themselves better. A good example of this is the September 11th attack, which made over 23% of Internet users search online sources about information about Islam, and whether their lives were threatened.