Friday, October 28, 2011

Strength in Online Practices

As mentioned before, digital media and the use of the internet has begun to play a larger role within religion. Today I’m reflecting on the question: Does digital media strengthen or weaken an individual’s ability to construct or perform their religious identity? Personally, I believe that identity is strengthened through the use of the internet. There are many different ways for a person to practice their faith online. I want to look at the website that I mentioned in my last post to use as an example. Prārthanā is an online website that allows Hindus to practice their faith throughout the internet. It gives the option of leaving pujas and prayers in temples across the world.
Prārthanā builds an individual’s religious identity because it is a tool to help further their spirituality. Unlike practices of Hinduism offline, online practices are something that the individual must approach themselves. It strengthens their focus because they are relying on themselves to practice their faith rather than relying on a community or pastor. This online practice keeps a consistency within their faith and allows them to grow faster by involving their religion in more areas of their life. For example, a person that practices their faith online can be doing so at home on top of their attendance to regular temple services, unlike those that only attend temple.
Online faith is a tool to help broaden and exercise a person’s spirituality. Their continuous use of this supplement to their regular religious practice, strengthens their individual connection with their religion – in this case, Hindusim.

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