Yesterday morning as I was walking with my dog in our subdivision, I saw a young lady walking toward us. About 25 yards away, we exchanged southern nods. As she got closer, I said, "Beautiful morning," but there was no answer or acknowledgement. Then I noticed the ear buds and phone. She was lost in her phone. I didn't feel particularly slighted as this has sadly become almost normal ... particularly in younger generations. I did wonder if she even saw the beauty God painted in the landscape, breeze, and sky. Humans 0; Technology 1.
Your cell phone is changing you and your children and the world. Have you noticed?
There's a new book in the church library - "12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You" - that is well worth reading. The book is very easy to read and is not anti-technology. The introduction gives a Theology of Technology. Beside discussing how our electronic devices are changing our lives for the worse, the author also gives suggestions both to counter the negative aspects and enhance the positive for the Kingdom. Many checklists are included to help you see whether you are using technology or technology is using you.
Here is the checklist at the end of the first of the "12 Ways": "We Are Addicted to Distraction". "Do my smartphone habits: 1. expose an underlying addiction to untimely amusements? 2. reveal a compulsive desire to be seen and affirmed? 3. distract me from genuine communion with God? 4. provide an easy escape from sobered thinking about my death, the return of Christ, and eternal realities? 5. preoccupy me with the pursuit of worldly success? 6. mute the sporadic leading of God’s Spirit in my life? 7. preoccupy me with dating and romance? 8. build up Christians and my local church? 9. center on what is necessary to me and beneficial to others? 10. disengage me from the needs of the neighbors God has placed right in front of me?" (Reinke, Tony. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (p. 52). Crossway.)
I would particularly urge parents to read this book. We all need to be aware of the temptations new technology brings, but our children and youth have been born into this technology with no idea of what is being replaced and missed. This is the new normal for them. We cannot allow generations of Christians to be techno-morphed into a virtual self-driven/satisfying false reality. They need to be guided to use technology for God's Glory. Adults also need to be aware of the example we are setting as little eyes watch us.
This is also a view into the culture we are to bring the Gospel.