The importance of online vocation discernment was urged by a recent survey of religious women.

The study, “Women Religious: Social Media Use Survey (Phase II) A Report for A Nun’s Life Ministry,” said that 45% of women religious used the websites of religious institutes, and 27% used videos in their discernment. The study was carried out by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in December 2016.

The report stated:

Internet Use and Religious Discernment

Among the survey participants who considered religious life for the first time after 1980
the following was used during religious discernment: websites of religious Institutes (45
percent), videos (27 percent), vocation- or discernment-oriented websites (27 percent),
diocesan websites (18 percent), newspaper or magazine websites (16 percent), social
media (16 percent), blogs (12 percent), forums or discussion boards (7 percent),
podcasts (5 percent), livestreaming events (3 percent), and chat rooms (2 percent).

Among the survey participants who considered religious life for the first time after 1980
the following internet activities were reported: read or listened to information about a
specific Institute (44 percent), read or listened to information about religious life in
general (38 percent), interacted with Catholic sisters and nuns (26 percent), and
connected with others who were discerning a call to religious life (20 percent).

We wonder if these numbers would be a lot higher if they counted only those who considered religious life after 1995, which when the internet was first used. This would mean that many more who enter religious life in the last twenty years have used websites and social media to find their calling.

The numbers for social media would rank even higher if 2004 was used as the measuring point. This was the year that Facebook was introduced.

In any case, it shows the importance of the methods of online vocation discernment and finding vocations with social media.