Millennialis, Hispanics Expected to Use Smartphones, Mobile Devices to Document Pope Francis' Visit
Millennials are so tech-savvy and socially involved that they even use their smartphones and other mobile devices to enhance faith and inspirational experiences. Likewise, "plugged-in" Hispanics are expected to use tech and social media to document their experiences during Pope Francis' U.S. visit.
Nearly 72 percent of Hispanics own a smartphone, according to a Nielsen report published in 2014. That number is 20 percent higher than the national average, and the same population also keeps an eye on the latest trends and biggest events, including the highly anticipated U.S. Papal Visit.
Young people are using their mobile devices to participate in national conversations on various digital platforms more than ever before. Also, Hispanics, who over index in technology, have strong tries with the Catholic community.
Often, Hispanics' commitment to faith and their fondness for technology frequently intersect. AT&T, which has a program called Inspired Mobility, sponsored a survey, which found that 55 percent of U.S. Hispanics are Catholic, and a third of the Catholic Church (33 percent), which is greater than any other group.
The same survey indicated nearly half of Hispanics (46 percent) use social media to connect to their faith. Additionally, they found that Hispanics are second only to African Americans with the use of social media to get inspired or connect to their faith.
Furthermore, the "younger the person, the more likely they are to use social media to connect with faith-based organizationsor to get inspired," according to the report. This is relevant because U.S. Hispanic population is, on average, younger than other populations.
According to a survey commission by Verizon Wireless, 95 percent of Spanish-speaking respondents said they were excited for the visit of the first Pope from Latin America (vs. 90 percent of non-Spanish-speaking Catholics). Additionally, 89 percent of Spanish-speaking Catholics indicated they'd use technology to share the experience. Furthermore, 61 percent said they keep in touch with the Pope or Catholic Church on social media, which is 13 percent higher than non-Spanish speaking Catholics.
Roughly 90 percent of those surveyed feel that Pope Francis has better connected the Catholic Church with technology, including social media, and 84 percent of American Catholics plan on following coverage of the Pope's visit.
Since 2014, Verizon invested $1.6 billion to build new cell sites and boost capacity for existing sites in regions where Pope Francis will visit. Also, AT&T invested more than $23 million to more than quadruple AT&T's mobile capacity in Philadelphia ahead of Pope Francis' visit, in order to accommodate the 1.5-2 million expected to attend. Also in Philadelphia, Verizon invested $24 million in readying the network, effectively quadrupling capacity in the downtown area.
Millennial Catholics are particularly likely to use mobile devices for a faith-related reason. More than two thirds (68 percent) of millennials surveyed have used their mobile devices for religious activities. Additionally, 43 percent of young respondents indicated they shared religious views on social media, 40 percent used faith-related mobile app, and 27 percent used a mobile phone to coordinate plans around a religious event.
About 83 percent of Catholics surveyed plan on following coverage of the Pope's visit. Millennial Catholics surveyed are more likely than Catholic non-millennials to say they plan to attend the visit in-person and use technology to stay connected with the Pope, Even if they can't attend in-person, Millennial American Catholics are the most likely to keep in touch with the Pope or Catholic Church on social media (60 percent).
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