New research has shown a correlation between the rise of the Internet and the decline of Americans claiming religious affiliation.
Other factors, such as an increase in higher education, are also implicated, but according to Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, the increase in Internet usage has a significant correlation.
The MIT Technology Review reports that in 1990, eight per cent of Americans had no religious affiliation. In 2010, that figure stands at 18 per cent, or 25 million people.
Why is mindfulness so popular?
It appeals to people seeking an antidote to life in work-obsessed, tech-saturated, frantically busy Western culture. There is growing scientific evidence that mindfulness meditation has genuine health benefits — and can even alter the structure of the brain, so the technique is drawing some unlikely devotees. Pentagon leaders are experimenting with mindfulness to make soldiers more resilient, while General Mills has installed a meditation room in every building of its Minneapolis campus. Even tech-obsessed Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are using it as a way to unplug from their hyperconnected lives. "Meditation always had bad branding for this culture," says Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter. "But to me, it's a way to think more clearly and to not feel so swept up."
Discuss amongst yourselves.