Sharing Religious Content on Social Media – Survey Results

finger of god to smartphone

Last week, I put together a questionnaire to survey people about their use of social media with regards to how often they shared religious content.  You can find out about how I structured my questionnaire HERE.  This week I am sharing my results.  (Note: If you’d like to view larger images of the graphs and charts, just click on them to view the full size images.)

surveys started vs surveys completed

I must admit, I had no idea what sort of response I would receive posting my questionnaire on my Facebook profile, Twitter feed, and a Facebook group, but I did not anticipate receiving as many as 270 completed responses.  The amount of data I was able to compile, gives the results more validity, in my opinion.

social media use graphBy far the most heavily used social media platform was Facebook.  100% of the respondents said they used it, with the next highest being LinkedIn with 44%, then Pinterest with 42%, and Twitter with %40.  This makes sense, since I posted the link to the questionnaire on Facebook.

use of social media by the numbers

Others that were written in included SnapChat, Yammer, Trello, and YouTube.

how often you share on social by the numbers

Most people share content on social media sites More than Once a Day.

gnder by the numbers

The demographics were heavily female, 70% to 30% male.

age by the numbers

And 58% were aged 35-54.  After reviewing these numbers, I am second-guessing these age groupings I used from a standard bank of questions on Qualtrics, and probably should’ve broken up this into two groups.

education pie chart43% of the respondents graduated with a 4-year College Degree, the next highest being those with Master’s Degrees at 18%, with those completing Some College next at 17%.

education by the numbers

The smallest groups were those with Doctoral Degrees and Less than High School, each being only 1%.

where does content come from bar graphThe vast majority of those surveyed (89%) share their own photos, videos, and updates.

where does content come from by the numbers

81% share content from friends, and 61% share content linked from websites.

religious affliliation by the numbers

When broken down by religious affiliation, those identifying themselves as Christians dominated the numbers with 78%.

List of other types of religious content shared

The next highest was Other at 13%, 7 of whom wrote in they were Agnostic, and 4 Catholic.

denomination by the numbers

Of those who identified themselves as Christian, the highest percentage was Roman Catholic with 21%.  The next highest was 17%, saying they don’t attend formal worship.  While most of the respondents were Christians, I think these results help show the variety of Christian backgrounds amongst those surveyed.

how often you attend worshippie chart40% of those surveyed attend worship Once a Week.

how often you attend worship by the numbers

The next highest was those who said they Never attended formal worship.

do you share religious content pie chart

61% responded that they share content that expressed their religion on social media.

do you share religious content by the numbers39% said they did not.

how often do you share religious content by the numbers

Of those who share content expressing their religious beliefs, the fewest respondents share either once a day or more than once a day, and the most respondents shared 2-3 times a month.social media icons

So that’s a run-down of the basic data.  Here’s where it gets interesting.  When cross-tabulating the data, you can see some interesting trends.

How often sharing on social - do you share religious

The data shows, as seen in the table above, the more often a person shares content on social media, the more likely they are to share content that expresses their religious beliefs.

education - do you share

The data also shows, as seen in the table above, that those having completed less than high school and those having earned professional degrees are the most likely to share content that expresses their religious beliefs.

age - do you share

As seen in the table above, the data supports that those aged 25 and under are more likely to share content that expresses their religious beliefs.

types of religious content by age

You can see in the table above the kind of religious content people are sharing by age.

what is your gender - do you share

Women are more likely than men to share religious content that expresses their beliefs.

what is your religion - do you share

Christians are  more likely to share content that expresses their religious beliefs than the other religions, having the only positive ratio of 2-1.

sharing by denomination

The results also show that those Christians who identify themselves as Baptist and Anglican are the most likely to share religious content, followed by Evangelicals.

attendance at worship - do you share

Lastly, attendance at worship has a big impact on people’s willingness to share religious content that expresses their beliefs, as seen in the table above.  Those who attend worship at least once a month are significantly more likely to share content on social media that expresses their religious beliefs.Follow-me

If you’d like to take a look at the geographical data in relation to how often a person posts religious content, you can take a look at the table, Frequency of sharing religious content by location.

I wasn’t at all surprised that most of the survey’s respondents lived in Florida.  What did surprise me was how many from outside of the U.S. responded.  Incidentally, I received a negative comment about me generalizing those who “do not reside in the U.S.” inferring that I was a typical American, not seeing others as valid.  I must assure everyone, I simply didn’t expect to receive many responses for my little survey, and certainly not any from those living outside the U.S., since most of the people I know live here in Florida.  The results were given a snowball effect when four online friends decided to share the link the questionnaire on their own pages.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to take the survey.  I hope you all enjoyed reading about the results as much as I did.

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Survey Says?

social media survey annmarie

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!

religion online survey

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.

religion social media survey 1

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.

religion social media survey 2The 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.

religion social media survey 3

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.

religion social media survey 4 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.

religion social media survey 5

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.

religion social media survey 6

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.

pray religion and social media online

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.

PTAT data religion facebook

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!