In a world accessible by the palm of you hand and the stroke of a smartphone screen, it’s hard to think that there are places that don’t condone users public use of smartphones. What about using your smartphone to connect to passions like health, wealth and faith? Recent surveys suggest that when it comes to how people connect to faith using their mobile devices, smartphone use in church is more common than you think!
In a recent survey sponsored by AT&T*, 4-in-10 (41%) respondents said they use a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to connect to faith-based organizations or inspiration sites. That compares to about a third (32%) who said they regularly attend worship services. The research is part of AT&T’s Inspired Mobility™ conversation.
The survey found that among those who attend services regularly, 1-in-4 (25%) report using a mobile device as part of that experience. The use of mobile technology to connect with faith differs among ethnic groups. Blacks are more likely to use technology to connect with their faith. The study found that 57% of blacks use mobile devices to connect to faith and inspiration sites and groups. That compares to 46% of Hispanics, 38% of Asians and 37% of whites.
“People use their mobile devices to manage their lives and access their passions,” said Jennifer Jones, AT&T’s vice president of diverse markets. “This research shows that their faith and inspiration practices are no exception.”
People using mobile devices in faith practices say they:
- Listen to or download music (42%)
- Stream services (38%)
- Research or study (32%)
- Access holy or song books (29%)
- Keep up with religious holidays/holy days (28%)
- Give (24%)
- Use prayer/meditation apps (22%)
- Use faith/self-improvement apps (19%)
- Keeping up with dietary guidelines (10%)
Across all groups, 72% of those who use mobility to connect with their faith report using social media to do so, with Facebook and YouTube used most. The survey also found that the younger the person, the more likely they are to use social media to connect with faith-based organizations, with 18-24 year olds leading the way at 85%.
Also, according to the survey, people in the South were more likely than people in any other region to connect to faith with online worship.
Finally, some people admit being somewhat distracted during worship with their devices. According to the survey, 44% of 25-34 year olds said they used their mobile device to engage in activities unrelated to the service they were attending. Most popular activities were texting a friend (15%), posting to social media (8%), watching a video (7%), even gaming (4%) and other things (6%). However, 73% of people reported never using their mobile devices during worship to engage in these activities.
Overall, parishioners are using their smartphones in church more than ever before! What about you? Do you use your smartphone in service? Still think it’s taboo? Share your thoughts on smartphone use in church below!