131 years ago, Nietzsche stated: “God is dead.” But God is not dead. God–in any and all forms–is very much alive, especially online. Judging from online Presence alone, God might say, as Mark Twain once did, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
The next big thing in gTLD’s (generic top level domains) will be .faith. But we all know that’s just politically correct lingo for .God. OMG! Really, let’s not lie about .God.
People’s search for God and their desire to find meaning in this life have been a constant since the beginning of time. As we change the ways we find information, we will necessarily change the way we find God and the way we search for meaning. When the Pope sets up a Twitter account, you know the world is changing! 28 million people look for God online, and the majority of posts on FB have to do with God and politics.
“Chat online with God. Repenting made easy,” advertises one of the many sites created to help online users find the fast-track to God or at least put meaning in their day. But along with a multiplicity of choices for online access to God and information about God comes the age-old consideration: which information is accurate? More importantly, which websites are trustworthy and secure?
When buying the Armor of God, it’s important to make sure Satan’s helpers aren’t stealing your credit card information. This is where a .God gTLD finds its perfect niche: soon, users will be able to find information about God and religion under one trustworthy electronic umbrella. There may be no agreement among peoples about the one, true religion–or even the One True God–but a .God gTLD would help organize and accredit religious information online.
Missed church on Sunday? No problem: the sermon is available for streaming online just moments after the pastor finishes preaching. Need to confess ASAP? Choose one of the many online confession sites or google the direct line for your local parish. Looking for words of wisdom or encouragement? Find your favorite pastor or holy leader on Twitter: we already know the Pope is there, but you can also follow the Dalai Lama, Joyce Meyers, T. D. Jakes, Deepak Chopra, Max Lucado, Joel Osteen…
Religious leaders may have fewer followers than their pop contemporaries, but their God-centered tweets are more widely read and circulated among the Twitter community. The Pope’s 1.4 million followers still pales in comparison to Obama’s 25 million but Obama has been building his following for five years. How many followers will the Pope have in five years?
“Like” your church, parish or religious organization on Facebook or “friend” your favorite religious leader.
Search the vast internet for religious encouragement and daily devotional sites or even just your friends’ Pinterest boards: there is enough content to keep a person reading for weeks, months, years an eternal lifetime.
God has not changed, but the way people search for God has. In this age of instant information, iPhone addiction, and constant data consumption, one thing is lacking: real, meaningful connection–both human and spiritual. We need meaning in our lives, even if that meaning comes from asserting our belief in a non-God with the Atheist Alliance.
In a consumer-focused world, the hottest selling commodity isn’t a commodity at all: it’s God. The .God (.faith) gTLD will become the hottest domain for those peddling Ultimate Meaning. And web hosters and designers will be needed, as religious web hosting expands to keep up.
Emily Cantin researched, co-authored and created original artwork for this article.