The average American spends over three hours on their phone each day. Younger generations are spending upwards of four and five hours. Does that sound like a lot? Check your screen time and see what it says. Assuming you spend 3 hours on your phone per day, that’s over 1000 hours each year. Then divide that by 24 (hours), and what do you get? Forty-five. (That’s days.) The average person spends 45 days each year with their head buried in their phone screen. Is this shocking to you? It should be. And it is very telling:
Where your phone is, there your heart will be also.
Our phones expose what we genuinely value.
Our phones are now extensions of our bodies, and how we use them exposes our priorities and sheds light on what we truly value. Our phones show what’s in our hearts. To be sure, we want cheap thrills. We’re so bored with our reality that we need to know what’s going on in someone else’s. “Amuse me” is what we say when we start thumbing through our phones. We’re addicted to entertainment. And the enemy is laughing at us while we’re laughing at stupid videos.
Our phones are changing our psychology. We can no longer pay attention to anything for more than a few seconds. That’s a PROBLEM.
Do you want to know someone who is not content meditating on God’s Word? A person who is far too content with meditating on their phone. We don’t have time to reflect and consider what God is saying to us because we don’t care – we have all the little thrills that our phones give us.
Let me back up. I’ve been too negative and critical, I’m sure.
We don’t intend to get addicted to our phones, but these devices are clearly too stimulating for our brains to handle them properly. We need to recognize that if we want to be content with our lives and with God’s Word, we need to take action against the enemy who steals us away.
This means for a lot of us that we need to cut off our right hand and gouge out our right eye. Jesus tells us that if our right eye or hand causes us to sin, to gouge it out. This principle applies to our phones.
If we can’t engage with our families without being on our phones, then we need to “cut off” some of the features captivating our attention.
If we can’t engage with God’s Word because we’re too busy scrolling through Instagram, we need to “cut off” Instagram from our phones.
Jesus calls for radical action. Those who follow him seriously will take his exhortation seriously. I do.
What I did.
I’m not you, so consider your own convictions. But I realized that if I have access to all the apps I want, I will be far too distracted for my own good. You may be different. I personally could feel myself being drawn in over and over again.
So I decided to delete all the apps (including my browser) that have any entertainment value whatsoever. I can’t download any apps because my wife has my password. I now have a smartphone with essential features, none of which entertain me. Is that extreme? Is Jesus extreme? I’ve chosen to embrace reality, even if it is boring.
What happened when I deleted those apps? I’m now distraction-free. I don’t neglect my wife or daughter at the expense of my phone. I have time to read and meditate on God’s Word. I’m present. For me, this is what needed to happen.
Here’s what I’m not saying – that our phones are a problem. Here’s what I am saying – our phones expose our priorities. And for a lot of us, our priorities need to change.
That is . . . if Jesus is honestly our highest priority.