Electronics in Church?

by | Feb. 18, 2014

Mormon Life

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in sacrament meeting when I realized I had become completely mesmerized by what was happening on a tiny screen one pew ahead of me.

The person sitting directly in front of me was engaged in an intense game of Flappy Birds on his iPad. I found myself not just watching but anticipating the next move and getting frustrated by each failure. I suddenly realized I had become distracted from the meeting and quickly focused on the speaker instead. The game continued for the duration of the meeting. Interestingly, it wasn't being played by a Primary kid or teenager. In fact, the player was a 46-year-old gospel doctrine teacher.

During last week's church meetings, I observed several adults checking Facebook, playing games, or surfing the Internet. That's not to say that they weren't also using their electronic devices to read scriptures or lesson manuals (in fact, the Gospel Library app just yesterday was updated to be more user-friendly), but I couldn't help but notice how many people got a little distracted by the other options these devices offer.

Some adults tell me they feel guilty when they become distracted and can relate to this adorable meme:


Others have no problem taking a quick break from the lesson because it helps them to stay awake. Better than dozing off, right? So, how do you feel about electronics in church? Be sure to take our poll below.

Do you use a smartphone or tablet at church?

Yes, I bring electronics to church in lieu of printed scriptures and manuals
Yes, I bring electronics to church in addition to printed scriptures and manuals
No, but if I had an electronic device, I would bring it to church
No, I prefer to use printed materials

If you use electronics at church, during that time do you ever use them for things that are not church-related?

Yes, sometimes I play games
Yes, sometimes I check Facebook or Twitter
Yes, sometimes I browse the Web
Yes, sometimes I do something else
Yes, sometimes I do more than one of the above
No, never

When other people use their electronic devices at church, do you find it distracting?

No, I think it's fine
Yes, if they are using them for things that are not church-related
Yes, even if they are reading Church materials
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