The more you use the Internets, the more likely you are to lose your religion, according to a new study.
America is less religious than ever before. The number of Americans who reported no religious affiliation has been growing rapidly, doubling since 1990. That kind of rapid change matches another societal trend — growth in Internet use. The percentage of Americans who say they used the Internet went from nearly zero in 1990 to 87 percent this year.
Now, a detailed data analysis finds the two trends aren’t just related, but that wider Internet use may actually be leading us to lose our religion.
Knowing that correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation, computer scientist Allen Downey, who teaches at Massachusetts’ Olin College of Engineering, set out to further analyze religious disaffiliation.
His statistical analysis asked which variables were factors in our religious disaffiliation, and to what degree. The model found a causal relationship among three factors — a drop in religious upbringing, an increase in college-level education and the increase in Internet use — that together explain about 50 percent of the drop in religious affiliation. Of those, increased Internet use alone can account for about 20 percent of the decline.
Los Pochodores are not surprised, because the pinche Internets made us lose a lot of other things. Here’s our listicle of the Pocho Ocho other things we lost on the Internets:
8. Lost the distinction between friends and “friends.”
7. Lost ability to gawk at a wrecking ball without twerking.
6. Lost a pretty good job because I couldn’t stop binge-watching House of Cards. (Courtesy Malcolm Mex, who adds, “Also I lost all feeling in my right butt-cheek. Well, not ALL feeling, because sometimes it tingles like your foot is asleep. Actually like MY foot is asleep. I don’t know what your foot feels like. But it is not a pleasant tingling of the nalgas, I can assure you. Why, I remember one time…”)
5. Lost a $500 wire transfer to Nigeria, but we complained to AOL Customer Service, so no worries.
4. Can no longer stomach the idea of building a web store with Volusion.
3. Gone forever: Mad map-folding skills, rewinding a tape cassette with a pencil technique, serene existence free of the threat of chemtrails.
2. Lost a kidney in an ice-cube-filled bathtub in a sketchy New Orleans hotel after answering a CraigsList “misc romance” ad.
And the numero uno thing we lost on the Internets is …
Lost an hour writing a hate letter to some guy named Lalo Alcatraz about his Joe Arpaio/Rush Limbaugh sex tape toon.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE INTERNETS: