If anyone still has any doubts or hesitations about the Church being present in social media, this video should lay them to rest.
Here are 16 social media stats that stood out to me as particularly insightful for Catholics and our Church:
1)“By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers…96% of them have joined a social network.” Are we meeting them where they’re at?
2)“Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web.”
3)“1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media.”
4)“If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest.” Do we need an “Archdiocese of Facebook”? :-)
5)“On average, online students out perform those receiving face-to-face instruction.” Is the Church teaching online as much as we could?
6)“80% of companies use LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees.” Still looking for a job anyone? How about is your parish using LinkedIn to find the most qualified and passionate employees?
7)“What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.” Thank goodness for the confessional.
8)“Wikipedia has over 13 million articles…some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica.” Have Catholics been writing these articles? Contributing to them? Making sure they are correct?
9)“There are over 200,000,000 Blogs.” How many of them are Catholic?
10)“Facebook USERS translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks and cost Facebook $0.” How can the Catholic Church or the parish accomplish such feats on limited budgets?
11)“78% of consumers trust peer recommendations.” How many peers are recommending the Catholic Church on social media?
12)“25% of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video…on their phone.” Is the Church doing enough to create these videos? And to create them well?
13)“35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available.” How many of our great Catholic treasures (books) have been digitized and made available on the Kindle and other electronic formats?
14)“24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.” Are we as a Church going out and finding people? Or are we just waiting for people to find us?
15)“More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.” How many of them reflect the Gospel? How many share the fullness of Truth?
16)“Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy - listening first, selling second.” Is the Catholic Church present enough in social media to be listening? And are we listening first?
For the next generation, the social web is defining sex, marriage and family. The Church must be a force there. The social web is on the cutting edge of education and communication. The Church must be on that edge. The social web is developing the language that future generations will speak. The Church must speak it fluently. Social media is changing the world. The Church must be fully present there to help guide that change.
Matthew Warner is a lover of God, his wife, his kids, his life, cookies, hot-buttered bread, snoozin’ & awkward (as well as not awkward) silence.