Survey Shows How People Connect To Faith On Mobile Devices

Aug 19, 2015, 12:31 ET from AT&T

DALLAS, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- People are turning to mobile technology to connect with faith practices whether it's streaming online, apps or social media.  

In a recent survey1 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 regularly2 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 services3 (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.

Visit the AT&T Newsroom to learn more about Inspired Mobility and the research.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

1 Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by ResearchNow. Online poll of more than 1,000 people in the U.S. aged 18 years and older. Blacks and Hispanics were oversampled (n=200 each) for the purpose of a more direct comparison with whites. Additional information available here.

2 Once a month or more

3 Watching online worship services or videos of inspiring speakers

4 Among those who have used a mobile device during a worship service to connect with their faith/inspiration or those who have never used a mobile device during a service to engage in activities unrelated to the service 

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