For the First Time in 10 Years, Americans Have More Faith in Church Than Technology

For the first time in at least a decade, Americans now view churches and other religious organizations more favorably than the technology companies whose services and devices denominate daily life.

Since 2010, most US adults have appreciated the contributions of tech firms, believing they had a positive effect on “the way things are going in the country,” according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.

But in the shadow of cultural and legal battles over privacy, the pitfalls of social media, and the increasing dominance of Silicon Valley behemoths, faith in tech has taken a nosedive.

For the past decade, around 7 in 10 Americans said tech companies had a positive effect on the country, peaking in 2015 at 71 percent. Today, just half of Americans agree.

No other major institutions examined by Pew—colleges and universities, labor unions, banks and other financial institutions, large corporations, national news media, and churches and religious organizations—saw as severe a decline in support as tech brands.

“For many years, there was an inherent trust in technology companies because of the value their tools and services added to our lives,” Jason Thacker, creative director and associate research fellow at the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told CT. “But as the data shows, that trust has been broken as the real impact of these tools are being widely felt.”

Just a few years ago, there was “broad agreement that technology companies and small businesses have a positive effect on the way things are going in the country,” Pew researchers stated in 2015. That consensus, as far as the tech companies go, has taken a serious hit, as just last week Facebook was fined a record-setting $5 billion for privacy violations. Other household names like Apple and Google have felt the legislative sting of consumers and governments angry about the way their data has been handled.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today, Griffin Paul Jackson