Losing my Religion: Studying the Dynamics between Religion, Social Media and the Urban Millennials
Keywords:Fundamentalism, Millennials, Indian youth, Pluralism, Religion, Religious expression, Social Media, Syncreticim
The millennials are the generation that lie at the cusp of the pre-internet and post- internet era, having experienced and influenced by the absence and presence of the internet. With each passing year it may appear as though the younger generations are less ritualistic and more skeptical of religious practices. However, skimming through social media may suggest otherwise. Youngsters do share posts that express their religious identity. Many now connect to their religion through newly available apps and Facebook pages. Given India is home to a wide array of religions and also houses the biggest youth population in the world, a majority of whom have access to social media, this study explores the new dimension in relationship between millennials, social media usage and its impact on religious beliefs. It studies if and how social media has aided the demographic to formulate and express their religious identity. The key findings of the study are that the average Indian millennial is gravitating away from organized religion and is questioning the roots of religion imposed on him through family. However, apart from the social media, the social interactions and the exposure has been cited as the cause for the democratic and secular outlook of the youngsters. Most millennial Indians shy away from religious conversation online in the fear that it may snowball into untowards communal hatred.