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Survey Notes Three Trends Shaping Information Age

A Barna survey found three trends shaping the information age: (1) a sense of life’s increasing complexity, (2) staying informed by skimming content and (3) a desire for holistic integration of faith and life.
Two-thirds of respondents noted a sense of life’s increasing complexity. Among faith groups, evangelicals and Catholics were most likely to agree with this sentiment.

“This may suggest that evangelicals and Catholics, who both subscribe to a precise set of community and theological convictions, are sensing a growing disparity between the rhythms and values of their faith and the demands of a rapidly changing culture,” Barna said.

Seeking to stay informed about contemporary trends and issues was deemed important, as 71 percent of respondents affirmed this desire.

Practicing Christians at 73 percent and millennials (persons born between 1982 and 2002) at 76 percent had the highest percentage of respondents who said they made efforts to stay informed.

A key goal of acquiring information, according to 75 percent of those surveyed, was to help them live more meaningful lives.

With regards to integrating faith and life, 79 percent of practicing Christians, and 56 percent of all adult respondents, noted that this was important.

“Millennials (90 percent), more than any other generation, say they are on the lookout for resources to help them live more meaningfully,” Barna reported, adding, “the people most likely to be searching for meaningful life are those at the starting line of their adult life and perhaps the most desperate to start out ‘right.'”

“These three trends speak to a new kind of information user,” Barna concluded. “This person doesn’t want to merely skim information, but wants thoughtful, meaningful and faithful integration of that knowledge into their increasingly complicated lives.”

The full report from the Barna Group is available here.