I find peoples addiction to their phone a strange phenomena. I fail to understand the need to be “in touch” with everyone, at all times through the use of the internet. My son recently visited from the UK and he and his friend seemed incapable of having a moment of any day when a phone or laptop was not connected wirelessly to the world way beyond my little home in NE India. To be fair at times we went where there was simply no network to be accessed and so in those moments they somehow managed to cope only to get online asap upon arriving back at the house.
In saying I failed to understand I confess I was in fact concerned with the pressure that such incessant contact put upon their soul. It was a world which seemed to lack peace, there was no sense of tranquility, it was not a relaxed environment to be part of. Thinking became little more than handling and processing of information, an answer was only a few touches away. Meditation and contemplation was rarely done, and if it was t was only in the light of information not revelation.
I worry about a generation of such people. A reliance on the ability to “know” something is an easy opt out clause for the depth of relationship that can be achieved with God only by revelation and time spent in contemplation.
Fortunately I am not alone in such thinking, 75 year old David Wells agrees with me! I recently listened to a podcast, Six Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, on the Desiring God website. This is part of Tony Reinke’s introduction,
My iPhone is such a part of my daily life, I rarely think self-reflectively about it. That’s precisely what concerns David Wells, 75, a careful thinker who has watched trends in the church for many decades.
Wells asks Christians to consider the consequences of the smartphone. “What is it doing to our minds when we are living with this constant distraction?” he said recently in an interview. “We are, in fact, now living with a parallel universe, a virtual universe that can take all of the time we have. So what happens to us when we are in constant motion, when we are addicted to constant visual stimulation? What happens to us? That is the big question.”
The podcast offers some suggestions in answer to the question posed above and I do not want to add to that list.
However I would encourage you, strongly urge might be a better way of putting it, take time off from your phone, laptop and other communication devices every day. And
try to fast from them for at least half a day every week.
My expectation is that you will find more of God in the silence of non-communication.