What's in this session?

  • Adults 18-35 are spending 6 hours and 19 minutes on social media each week (1:07)
  • Gen X spends 39 more minutes per week on social than Millennials (Source: Nielsen) (1:19)
  • Adults age 35-49 are spending 6 hours and 58 minutes on social media each week (1:32)
  • Adults over 50 are spending 4 hours and 9 minutes on social media (1:40)
  • The average Sunday service is a little over one hour in length - so even adults 50+ are spending about 4X as much time on social media as they are in church - and that’s assuming the attend every week (1:59)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Alex Mills: Pro Church Daily is brought to you by Storytape Unlimited. Stock video downloads on a single monthly subscription. Head to storytape.com and you can browse through every single video clip we have to offer for free.

Well, hey there and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less you’ll get your daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus, while we navigate the biggest communication shift we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host Alex Mills and I’m joined as always by the boss man Brady Shearer. Today, we’re going to talk about which generation spends the most time on social media.

Brady Shearer: Millennials right?

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: That would be the common perspective that most people have.

Alex Mills: Naturally.

Brady Shearer: We grew up as digital natives. We grew up with Facebook. I remember transitioning to Facebook from MySpace.

Alex Mills: Yep.

Brady Shearer: I was an early adopter. People said it couldn’t be done. I said, “We’ve got to try.” And I transitioned to Facebook.

There was this report that came out from Nielson and it has all the data broken down per generation, how much time that each generation is spending on social media, and …

Alex Mills: It’s gotta be millennials.

Brady Shearer: The results are pretty fascinating. So, let’s start with millennials.

How much time per week does the average adult age 18-35 spend on social? Six hours and 19 minutes on average per week. That sounds like a lot. Here’s where things get really interesting.

Gen X, those that are aged 36-49 in this study, spend 39 minutes more per week on social media compared to millennials. And the overall time for that is six hours and 58 minutes.

So we’ve got six hours and 58 minutes for Gen X. Six hours and 19 minutes for millennials.

And even for those that are 50 and over, we’re talking the boomer generation, adults 50+ on average four hours and nine minutes on social media each week. And yeah that’s considerably less than both Gen X and millennials about 33%, about a 1/3 less, but for those 50+ more than 4 hours each week. And if you think that the average church service is right around an hour, maybe a little bit more. That means that even the oldest people in your demographic, in your community, in your congregation, on average are spending about four times as much time on social than they are in a church service.

Alex Mills: Wow.

Brady Shearer: And that’s assuming they attend every week.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Which, is just not the case nowadays in 2018. We’re seeing on average maybe every other week, one out of every 2.5 weeks that the average family attends. It’s like, the average family has 2.5 kids, the average family is also attending church 1 out of every 2.5 weekends.

Alex Mills: Right. There you go.

Brady Shearer: And so, if you just start at that basic fact, the average person in your community, old, young, millennial, four to six times as much time on social media then in a church service. And so, from a basic attention standpoint, it becomes imperative on us to focus our attention, focus our resources on where people are spending their time, and it simply comes down to social.

Alex Mills: So, it’s no longer a conversation about, “Oh it’s just these young kids and their phones, their iPads, they’re always connected, this and that.” It’s everyone. Everyone in your church is spending more time on social media on their devices than they are at church, so we have this opportunity as churches. We have this opportunity to communicate with them where they’re at during the week.

Brady Shearer: I think the bigger discussion here is that it’s imperative on us as church leaders to really know what’s actually happening.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: If we as church leaders, as pastors, as ministers of the gospel are really just tuned into this idea of sharing the message of Jesus with the world, we have to understand how people are communicating. And it’s imperative on us to understand the data, understand the facts, and not just assume that things are one way or another.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Not just assume based on anecdotal evidence that if you’re young, you’re probably on social way more.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: ‘Cause that’s what we’ve all assumed, right? Even before I saw this data, the reason that I made note of it, the reason we’re spending an episode of Pro Church Daily on this data is because it’s surprising, it’s unexpected. We expect young people who are native to digital, to mobile, to social, grown up with this, to just naturally be on it way more.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Interestingly it’s not the case.

Alex Mills: Wow.

Brady Shearer: We are seeing this generational disconnect with those that are 50+ that were completely removed, that spend much of their adult lives up until this point, without social.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: So there is a generational disconnect there, but there’s this in between group, this Gen X, this 36-49 that sure when they were in high school and college they didn’t have social and digital, but they were still young enough that they were able to pick it up.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: And when I think about … this is purely anecdotal, this is just me guessing. And so, this doesn’t have data to back it up, but if I think about the lifespan that a millennials in right now versus a Gen X. If you’re a millennial, you are in your early 20’s, your late 20’s, your early 30’s. You’re just getting your first home, you’re having your first kid, you’re figuring out your career. It’s a very, very busy time.

Alex Mills: It is.

Brady Shearer: Whereas for those that are 35-50, maybe things are a little bit more established.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: At least ideally they are. And maybe you have a little bit more free time. Your income’s a little bit higher, so you’re not doing that side hustle thing, that’s such appropo to millennials. It’s just interesting.

Alex Mills: Yeah makes sense, for sure.

Brady Shearer: Well, that’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Daily, but before we go we wanted to tell you about Storytape. Speaking of social, the most dominant form of content on social media is video.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: The problem is that video is difficult, so we launched this platform called Storytape.com where you can download unlimited stock video, to create videos for your church. Video takes a lot of money. We spent more than a $100,000 on video gear in 2017.

Alex Mills: Yep.

Brady Shearer: Do I have a problem? Perhaps. But that problem is not a problem for you because we are able to use that gear to create amazing videos.

Alex Mills: Right, yeah.

Brady Shearer: Within our catalog we’ve got more than 6,000 stock video clips already. And we’re doing something special for the month of January. If you go to Storytape.com and you use the coupon code DAILY when you’re signing up for the Storytape Unlimited Plan, the unlimited plan we’re going to give you 10% off your subscription forever. And we’re also going to throw in 25 video templates made with an after effects for you to use on social media, within your church services, and now you’ve got attention both within your weekend experience and online on social.

Alex Mills: Yeah, and they’re perfect for social.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, a lot of them. More than half are made with a one by one aspect ratio square, which means it takes up more space on your mobile device. You’ll have the templates, you’ll have the footage. The templates are a free bonus.

Alex Mills: Awesome.

Brady Shearer: And 10% off your subscription forever at Storytape.com video made easy. Go head over there storytape.com signup and we’ll see you on the next episode tomorrow, Pro Church Daily.

Alex Mills: Hey thanks for listening to today’s episode of Pro Church Daily. If you haven’t already make sure to subscribe to Pro Church Daily for new podcasts just like this one, every single day. And if you’d lik to support this podcast, leave us a rating or review. It doesn’t cost you much, but it means the world to us. Talk to you tomorrow.



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