A smartphone is a small device that creates huge problems. Phones can be a useful tool, but in the wrong hands they become destructive. Here are some reasons why smartphones are destructive in the wrong hands:
- The more we connect, the less we are connected.
When I eat at a lunch table, I am blown away by how disconnected we are with one another. The other day I was eating lunch with six other people. Five out of the six people had their eyes glued to their smartphones. I was physically present with all of them, yet emotionally distant. Many of these people I sat with had hundreds of friends on Facebook, hundreds of followers on Instagram and Twitter, yet while they were investing in relationships through their phone, they neglected the people right in front of them. Smartphones can become a wall between two people. For example, there are married couples who have smartphones on each side of their bed. Even though they sleep together, they can become emotionally distant as they invest in their smartphones rather than in one another. Smartphones make us prone to invest in relationships other than the ones in front of us.
- Social media robs us of our value.
Smartphones give us 24 hour access to social media. Social media allows us to become whoever we want to be. If we don’t like the way we look, we can take a photo of ourselves from a certain angle and edit it to make us look better. If we want to feel better, we can post a cool status and see how many “likes” we get. If we want to feel valued and known, we can accumulate as many followers as possible. If we want to be heard, we can post a status where we vent about our feelings. In a nutshell, social media draws us away from who we really are and directs us towards who we want to be seen as. We don’t want to be seen as broken people, and this is why social media is so attractive. It allows us to portray only the parts of ourselves we want others to see. This sends the message that our value comes from how others view us rather than how God views us. Unfortunately, smartphones give us the ability to access any form of social media whenever we want.
- Porn is a click away.
Porn is destroying our world. Not too long ago it was difficult to find porn. You had to buy a magazine or go to a store to get it. Now you can watch porn within seconds of clicking a button. How do we expect our culture to stay pure and remain faithful in marriage when pornographic images and videos can be accessed with the click of a button? Smartphones become a doorway to a very dark and destructive room called porn. It allows us to live secretly in our sin. Sin grows in the dark, so the more privatized our sin becomes, the more it will grow and fester. Smartphones give the user quick, easy, and private ways to access pornography.
- It provides an unhealthy escape from reality.
If you are struggling with something, you can distract yourself with a smartphone. You can surf the web for hours or play games till your thumbs fall off. Either way, smartphones help us escape reality. They become a world outside our own that we get lost in. It helps us escape the reality of difficult things by shifting our focus to a screen. It also makes it difficult to be fully engaged where we’re at. I see it all the time in the class room. Students could learn so much more if they paid attention to the teacher rather than their smartphones.
I am not against having a smartphone. I just want us to be aware of the dangers they cause when used wrongly. They can be a useful tool, but if misused they become a weapon of destruction.