Do We Control Our Smartphone or Does Our Smartphone Control Us?
For a long time I resisted getting a smartphone. It’s not that I’m technologically adverse; I love technology. And it’s not that I didn’t see how beneficial it would be to have Internet access anytime, anywhere. It’s that I worried about how having a smartphone might affect my interactions with others or distract me from fully experiencing what was happening around me.
I’ve seen too many examples of people fixated on their smartphone: texting, surfing, checking Facebook, tweeting, or playing games, all the while ignoring the people and events around them. Smartphones give us the ability to isolate ourselves in a roomful of people. I wanted to avoid that struggle, so I avoided buying a smartphone.
So when I finally succumbed to smartphone inevitability, I wanted to make sure I controlled it, instead of it controlling me, the things I did, and when I did them. Smartphones are adept at alerting, beeping, and shaking to get our attention, usually distracting us from something more important. The person I am with should (usually) take precedence over the person calling, texting, or emailing. The situation I am in should (usually) take precedence over the news or information waiting inside my smartphone. I intend to master my smartphone, not be mastered by it.
I want to be like Paul. He says, “I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Peter puts it a different way: “People are slaves to whatever has mastered them” (2 Peter 2:19). Though these men never struggled with smartphone interruptions, they seem to fully understand its threat.
Let’s live in the moment, and keep our smartphones in our pockets.
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