Few items in history have crossed economic, age and racial barriers like cell phones. However, recently published statistics show we may be more connected with our phones than necessary.
In The Hyperlinked Life, co-authors Jun Young and David Kinnaman reveal that 36% of adults say they usually stop what they’re doing when a text or message is delivered to their phone. For Millennials, the number is 42%. Speaking of Millennials, people who reached adulthood around the year 2000, 30% of them “love” their cell phone.
The figures are important, as Young and Kinnaman also found that many people today, regardless of age, feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to stay current. More than a third of adults also think their personal electronics sometimes separate them from other people. That may be explained by the fact that 40% of adults check their phone first thing in the morning, and much of that same figure continues to check it every hour afterwards.
So what does this mean for us? We are really, really, really connected to our phones. Even an unrelated 2013 poll by Jumio, Inc. and Harris Interactive finds one in five Americans use their phones in church. Sure, they could be using a Bible app, but it’s unclear as to whether that is the case with this poll. Barna Group has even found that a lot of Millennials fact-check their pastor’s sermon.
While it certainly may not be easy to do, there are things cell phone users can do to stay connected and enjoy life if they deem their cell phone use a problem. In addition to the various statistics that we have shared, The Hyperlinked Life suggests people write down how often they use their cell phones. In doing so, people will see just how often they use their cell phone. If you take up that challenge and decide there is a problem, consider taking a ‘digital’ siesta. Another suggestion is to use one fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) each week with your cell phone, to share the love of Christ and help share the Gospel.