Why people practice religions
IMO, people are practicing any religion for three reasons:
a) They’ve been born and raised in a religious family
b) They got some serious illness or lost one of their loved ones and are looking for help that’s the current society and science can’t offer
c) You want to marry her, and the mother-in-law-to-be wouldn’t approve the marriage you will convert into whatever religion she practices.
How they do it
For some people faith in God is very personal. They don’t need a middleman to talk to God. They don’t need to wear a certain attire or be in a certain place at a certain time to pray. These kinds of people are minority though.
Most of the people prefer to be in a heard while talking to God so they gather in churches, mosques, synagogues, or Buddhist temples. They practice religions. Some of the religions are older then others. The new religions were not appearing that often, but the human life had a lot slower pace too. The information channels were slow. Who would have thought that the mankind needed one more religion? But it was born, matured and got lots of followers over time.
Social networks are today’s religions
The history of the social networks resembles the history of religions but at a much faster speed. Who would have thought at the medieval times of MySpace that the mankind needs another social network? Nevertheless, the Facebook has risen from the ashes with its half billion worshipers. Who would have thought that the mankind needs another social network if the FaceBook (and its regional clones) serves all our needs? But last month the prophet Google Plus has been born and a large portion of people who were practicing the FaceBook religion are ready to move to another temple.
People want to be among people with similar believes. If a hundred years ago, say a Christian had to relocate, the first thing he’d do was finding a local church. What happens today? If a person relocates or travels to a new place, he start with finding the Internet connection to be able to login to his FaceBook, Twitter account to find himself in a not just a similar, but in HIS/HER OWN congregation.
While people are wondering if Google Plus presents a danger to FaceBook, my question is wider: “When the social networks will completely replace the need to practice ANY religion? rdquo; IMHO, in the Western society this will happen by the end of this century. All it takes is three generations of people raised on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the like.