While waiting for something, how long does it take before people check out the latest on their smartphones? Over the past week, I have been actively observing a number of situations to gather some insight as to the convenience of smartphones. With people farther apart due to social distancing, they are less likely to be talking to someone, and also are more visible to observe! Some observations:
– While waiting for 45 seconds at a stoplight, I have glanced at my fellow drivers. About half are heads down looking at their smartphones.
– I had a chance to play in a golf tournament. Golf Carts were spread out while waiting for the start, and about half of the people were looking down at their smart phones.
– In the checkout line of the local grocery store, half (6 out of 12) people around me were checking in on their smartphones.
– Even at our outdoor church worship on Sunday morning while waiting for service to begin, I looked around the lawn and saw 1 out of 3 people were checking in on their smartphones.
From my simple observations over the past week, it appears that within a few seconds of waiting, half of the people in a group pull out their smartphone. Within a minute, it is practically everyone. This is not surprising, as I do the same. I imagine folks are checking in on anything and everything. What is the latest notification? What social media have I not checked in on? What is the latest in my friend or family group text? Can I squeeze in an extra level of a game?
Our engagement methods continue to change. Having an active presence on a smartphone device means having an active presence in people’s lives. Part of what drives us at Here I Am is to ensure that the church remains a part of this smartphone engagement reality.