Investigating the Seeking Behavior for Religious Information in Social Media

Investigating the Seeking Behavior for Religious Information in Social Media

Abdullah Almobarraz
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3435-9.ch039
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Reading and learning about religious information is a habit that Saudis practice to increase their understanding of Islamic rules. It is common now for people to learn about religion from social media. Therefore, the study reports on a survey that was distributed to people in Saudi Arabia to investigate the use of social media technologies for religious information seeking. The objective is to determine if Saudis utilize social media to search for religious information and to understand their information-seeking behaviors when using such a resource. In addition, the study is an attempt to investigate how religious information on social media changes and influences people, and what obstacles and difficulties Saudis encounter when they use social media to obtain religious information.
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Social media plays a clear role in changing the way people talk about faith and share religious information and perspectives, so religious leaders find it a great way to involve younger generations who may not be growing up with religion in their households (Cyprian, 2015). Recent years have seen a concern with the publishing of new information to help religious scholars understand digital media—especially social media. Religious leaders can now find texts to guide them through the construction of websites, blogs, and social media (Hutchings, 2012). However, the use of social media is not limited to religious leaders, but is also used by laypeople. It has increasingly become an important source of religious information for many people in the world (Harvey, 2014). In an average week, one in five Americans shares their religious faith online (Pew Research Center, 2014). In addition to sharing their religious faith, people use social media to share information about their favorite religious organizations, activities, preachers, religious resources, Web sites, educational materials, new issues, and much more (Groenpj, 2011). Some experts believe social networks are more successful than traditional, offline forms of communication in spreading new viewpoints including religious believe (Balint & Gustafson, 2015).

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