Surveys. There are so many of them! From the U.S. Census, to the random online questionnaire, to the one at the bottom of the receipt in your wallet, it seems someone wants to know our information and opinions about almost everything!
Since I’m considering doing some deeper research into how much religion is a part of people’s social media activity, I thought I’d put together a questionnaire using my own Facebook and Twitter accounts to survey my online friends and followers about whether posting about their religious beliefs is a part of their social media habits. After reviewing a few sites to determine which would best facilitate my questionnaire, I decided to use Qualtrics.com. I liked the format of setting up my survey questions, how it looked visually, and the ease of reading the reports.
I started by letting the respondent know that for the purposes of this survey, I’d like them to answer based on their personal use of social media, not any pages they may manage. I thought this was an important distinction to make. The first question was a question to weed-out any respondents who did not meet my criteria — mainly, that they use social media. I used Qualtrics’ “skip logic” feature, so a respondent answering “none” would immediately skip to the end of the survey.
The second question asked about the respondent’s “religious affiliation.” If they answered “Christian” or inputted “Catholic” or “Roman Catholic” (non-case sensitive), they would then be moved to a question looking for more specifics about their denomination, or way they choose to worship in the Christian faith. If they chose any other the other answers, it would jump to the next question about how often they attend formal worship services.
I then asked several demographic questions about gender, age, level of education, and geographical location. I asked these questions for two reasons: I’d like to know the results, in terms of who is answering my questionnaire, but also to see if there are any links between any of these specific demographics and their occurrences of religious postings to social media, or lack thereof.
I then got to the point of my questions asking how often they share content on social media. If they answered “Never,” they’d be immediately moved to the end of the survey. All of the other answers given would give me valuable data to compare to a later question.
This question was followed with one asking if they share content from “yourself or outside sources that expresses your religious beliefs?” Again, if they answered “No,” they’d be immediately moved to the end of the survey.
The final two questions asked about the frequency of the content they share that expresses their religious beliefs, followed by a more specific question about the kinds of content they share that expresses those beliefs.
You may find yourself asking, why is this all important? Well, I’ll tell you. According to a 2011 New York Times article, the Jesus Daily Facebook page had more engagement than Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, or Manchester United. PageDataPro.com shows that Jesus Daily remains in the top spot for PTAT still.
I believe many people of faith are using social media to nurture and express their faith. However, according to a 2013 article which sites a Carnegie Mellon University study, this sort of behavior may be effecting a job candidate’s ability to get hired. All of the effects of expressing your religious beliefs on social media may be difficult to quantify, but it’s a very interesting topic that I hope to learn more about. This questionnaire is just one small part in that process.
If you’d like to participate in my survey by answering my questionnaire, it will be available HERE through Saturday, February 1, 2014. I’ll be posting about the results next week, so stay tuned!