3 August, 2021

Keeping Smartphones in Their Place

by | 15 March, 2017 | 0 comments

By Jim Tune

The New York Times reports people spend close to three hours a day looking at a mobile screen, and that excludes the time they spend actually talking on the phones. In a 2015 survey of smartphone use by Bank of America, about one-third of respondents said they were “constantly” checking their smartphones, and a little more than two-thirds said they went to bed with a smartphone by their side.

One teenager reports, “I bring my [iPhone] everywhere. I have to be holding it. It”s like OCD””I have to have it with me. And I check it a lot.”

It”s hard to believe it”s been just over a decade since the iPhone came out. Our lives are now consumed with small, rectangular, glowing screens. We feel phantom vibrations even when our phones aren”t with us. We feel panicked when we forget our phones, hit a dead zone, or when our batteries die.

We should, I believe, respond to our smartphones in two ways.

First, we should give thanks. Our smartphones are a gift. The smartphone in your pocket or purse is many times more powerful than all of NASA”s combined computing in 1969, the year man first landed on the Moon. You have instant access to more resources than history”s greatest thinkers had in their libraries. Our smartphones are a gift.

Second, we should put limits on how we use this gift. When smartphones threaten our ability to concentrate, disrupt our conversations, rob us of moments of boredom, and leave us with signs of addiction, it”s time to draw the line. Smartphones have their place, but it”s important to keep them in their place. Don”t let them take over your life.

In This Is Our Time, Trevin Wax contends smartphones communicate false messages to us. They tell us we are the center of the universe. They flatter us. They make us feel in control, knowledgeable, and powerful. They give us access to the information that agrees with what we already think, and allow us to ignore the rest. Smartphones produce “double thirst”””they temporarily satisfy our thirst, but also create greater thirstiness. They keep promising more, but they never quite satisfy.

Christianity Today Senior Editor Andy Crouch decided to turn off his screens for Lent in 2015. He practiced the piano for the first time in 20 years. He worked on rowing and pull-ups, read real books, and tackled neglected projects around the house. He regained “a small measure of attention. . . . I was more free to pay attention to the world I am called to love.”

I give thanks for our smartphones. At the same time, I want to develop habits that keep the phones in their place. Let”s turn off our phones and pay attention to the world and people around us. Don”t believe the lies our phones tell us; let”s relearn boredom and smallness. Our smartphones are great tools when we learn how to live well without them.

<a href="https://christianstandard.com/author/admin/" target="_self">Christian Standard</a>

Christian Standard

Contact us at cs@christianstandardmedia.com

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Stories

By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.

How the Local Church Can Make a Difference in Foster Care

A ministry that serves the foster care system isn’t simple. The situations are complicated and the answers are never easy, but it’s been an incredible honor for Christ’s Church of Oronogo to be invited into families’ stories.

An Altar of Earth

We no longer sacrifice burnt offerings on an altar because Jesus came as the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins. But we should remember an old command as we come before God to worship him.

Aug. 8 | Which Righteousness?

Having called the Galatians back to the true gospel, defended his own apostleship, and having confronted Peter (i.e., Cephas), Paul begins to argue for the gospel of righteousness.

Aug. 8 | Application

A biblical text normally has a single meaning, but it can have many applications. Consider Galatians 2:20 . . .

Follow Us