This week marks the 10 year anniversary of the iPhone. Does it seem like that happened fast??? I remember the first time I saw an iPhone. I was a youth pastor, and a student was showing off his shiny new caseless iPhone on a youth trip. My first thought was that it looked REALLY COOL, and breakable, and expensive, and hard to hold on to, and…breakable. I remember being fearful that my student’s mom was gonna kill him (or me) if his new phone was broken on our youth trip! A few years later I’d have my own iPhone, and just a few hours later, we would disassemble a restaurant booth to try and retrieve my student’s new iPhone, because, you guessed it, he dropped it. BUT, good news is it didn’t break!
iPhones have been life changing for our culture. So many conveniences afforded to us as the push of a button! So many ways to stay in contact with people we love! Access to so much great entertainment and information right in the palm of our hands! But have we become too dependent on our iPhones? Have we become LESS relational by trying to keep up with too many people and activities? Has so much instant access made us less patient with the people we love?
This week I did something that I haven’t done in a couple of decades. I bought an alarm clock. Weird right? Why would I need an alarm clock, when there’s one on my iPhone? Here’s the deal, I’ve formed a bad habit of making the last thing I look at before I go to sleep, and the first thing I look at when I wake up, my phone. I’ll even scroll through sports scores in the middle of the night when I wake up. But what’s wrong with that? Nothing really. Except for the fact that I use to spend my last waking moments talking to God about the day’s events. I use to talk to God in the morning before I saw the weather, the news, or social media too. I use to spend more time talking to my wife in the morning and at night rather than scrolling through timelines and newsfeeds. Those things were better. So, I’m moving my phone charger across the room, and I’ve invested in an old school alarm clock instead of using the one on my phone. I could still hear my phone ring if someone called with an emergency, but it’s much less accessible. No big deal, just a small adjustment that also serves as a reminder of my priorities.
Maybe the iPhone is all good for you! Or who knows, maybe you’re still rocking one of those gigantor bag phones from the 90’s wouldn’t even fit on your night stand. But if you’re like me these simple questions might be worth asking:
- Does my iPhone negatively effect my relationship and time with God?
- Does my iPhone negatively effect my relationship and time with my spouse?
- Does my iPhone effect my relationship and time with my kids?
- Am I less patient with people than I was before I started using an iPhone?
- What, if any, adjustments do I need to make to use my iPhone in a healthy god-glorifying way?
I’m sure there are more/better questions than these. What would you add?