Smartphone addiction is real and it's a major distraction
We’re all guilty of it. The alarm goes off, and we instinctively reach for the phone. Before our feet hit the floor, we’ve checked the weather, read the news and responded to emails.
No matter how much we swear we won’t be “that person,” it seems every smartphone user eventually becomes chained to their phone. Studies show most smartphone users keep their devices within arm’s reach all day, every day. Every few minutes, even if the phone didn’t vibrate or sound an alert, we feel obligated to check for updates on the tiny computers we keep close.
Technology is not inherently bad. But if we’re not careful, cell phones can ruin our lives in two major ways.
Two Ways Our Smartphone Habits Distract Us
1. They distract us from important moments.
Smartphones are ruining our ability to be present. The need to be constantly entertained and informed keeps us glued to our tiny screens. The problem is we were designed to be constantly connected to God, not information.
The calls, texts, and emails can wait. Don’t give in to the need to know everything that’s going on. Really, it just causes more anxiety.
Rather than waking up and checking the phone first thing in the morning, consider a different approach. In the morning, we have a unique opportunity to prepare our hearts for the day. The morning can be the best time to spend a few minutes reading the Bible and praying. It’s a powerful thing to begin the day with our minds focused on God instead of all that we have to accomplish. (Psalm 46:10, Psalm 119:15).
2. They distract us from people.
Before cell phones, when conversations paused, people used to wait in the silence. We would sit awkwardly instead of escaping into an app.
Now, when friends go out to dinner, any break in conversation causes people to pull out their phones. We’ve become so accustomed to multitasking that we’re losing connection with the real world we live in. We should use smartphones and love people, not love smartphones and use people.
We should use smartphones and love people, not love smartphones and use people.
The next time you feel the impulse to use your phone at the dinner table, have everyone stack their phones in the middle of the table until the check comes. Have long conversations. Go deeper than “Hello” and “How are you?” You might find that God uses meals and good conversations to build friendships and give us more opportunities to worship Jesus (Acts 2:42-47).
God has given us tools like phones to connect with people and do good work, but the resources He gives us should never distract us from the moments and the people He’s placed in our lives.