This month we begin a new sermon series looking at time. I don’t know about you, but it always feels like I never have enough time. But when I take a serious look at where my time goes, I’m a little embarrassed. The biggest time suck in my life? THE CELLPHONE!
On average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day. (That’s once every 4 minutes!)
Our cell phones are our constant companions. As many as 71% of us check our phones within 10 minutes of waking up. And 74% of us can’t leave our cell phones at home without feeling uneasy. Nor can we imagine our little companions dying—48% of people say they feel a sense of panic or anxiety when their cell phone battery goes below 20%.
Even while driving, 35% of Americans use or look at their cell phones. On romantic dates, 43% of us are more wrapped up in our phones than our partner’s company.
And when we say “I couldn’t be without our cell phones for five minutes,” most of us mean it—70% of Americans check their phones within five minutes of receiving a notification.
On average, we check our phones every four minutes.
A new study asked 2,000 Millennial and Baby Boomer smartphone users to go into their phone settings and record exactly how much screen time they’ve spent on their top apps. The survey found that both generations share similarities when it comes to how much time they spend on their smartphones.
The average American spends 5.4 hours a day on their phone. Millennials spend slightly more time on their phones (5.7 hours) compared to baby boomers (5 hours) on average. However, 13% of millennial and 5% of boomers say that they spend over 12 hours every day on their phones.
Overall, social media takes up the bulk of smartphone screen time. Americans spend an average of just over an hour (64.5) minutes a day on Facebook and 48 minutes on Instagram.
One-out-of-three thought their screen time would be less than it actually is, and underestimate how much time they spend on their phone. Yet, two out of three users do not plan on cutting back on phone usage. Many are in denial. Over four-out-of-five (82%) people think their personal usage is below that national average.
This week’s sermon text is from Ephesians 5:15-16
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
If I’m gonna be honest with myself, my cellphone usage is unwise. If I’m gonna be truthful, I might not be making the best use of my time.
I got really angry with my brother a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to get in touch with him or my mother but they are a little cut off from the world. In fact, I have friends and family reach out to me all the time because they can’t get in touch with them. See, both of them only turn their phones on to call someone. It’s infuriating when you are trying to talk with them.
But this week as I was talking about this with someone else in the family, he made a statement that has stuck with me. “Maybe they have a better handle on this phone thing than we do.”
Maybe he is right. Maybe I need to “look carefully how I walk” and turn that thing off. Maybe “making the best use of my time” begins with stepping back and cutting off.
So what do you say? Are you willing to try it with me? Let’s turn em off for a couple of days. Let’s see what happens. It may be more than wise, it may be godly.