Culture Clash: Phones Run Our Lives

Phones run our lives. They do. It’s a fact. We can’t seem to put down our phones to talk, to eat, to go to the bathroom, (ok maybe that’s just me) or you name it.

A recent study by “The world Unplugged Project” surveyed 1,000 students from 10 countries. They challenged the students to go without media (even their phones….GASP) for 24 hours and monitor their feelings. Here are some of the results:

  • 50% failed to go the full 24 hours
  • Everyone claimed to suffer withdrawal symptoms
  • Some even experienced a "phantom limb" type sensation-felt like their phone was vibrating in their pocket even though they did not have a phone on them.
  • One student said "media is my drug. Without it I was lost. I am an addict"
  • All students used one or more of the following words: fretful, confused, anxious, irritable, insecure, nervous, restless, crazy, addicted, panicked, jealous, angry, lonely, dependent, depressed, jittery, and paranoid.
  • The report stated that many of the students reported "mental and physical symptoms of distressed and 'employed the rhetoric of addiction, dependency, and depression' when reporting their experiences of  trying to go unplugged for a full day"

Phones rule our lives.

Does anyone find this troubling besides me? Society as a whole has become so attached to their phones that our brains treat it like another limb (see phantom limb experience).

Let's take this research and parallel it with one of the main reasons people give to not reading their Bible--I don't have enough time. I do not think time has anything to do with it, but priority. We have placed such a high emphasis on staying "connected" that we really don't realize how much time we spend with technology (over 7.5 hours of media a day with a 1 hour 20 min rise in mobile usage just in the last 10+ years).

You may be thinking, but that's not me. Okay, fine. I challenge you, to do the same challenge. Go 24 hours without using media (TV, computer, phone, music). Keep a log of your feelings.

You may discover you are dependent on media more than you realize. Use the time you normally would spend on the computer, watching TV, talking on the phone, surfing the web, texting, etc. to read the Bible and spend time in prayer and meditation. Jesus told his followers to put God first in their lives (Matthew 6:33). That commandment is applicable to every aspect of our lives, every day. Paul also said for us to think on things that please God in Colossians 3:2 and Philippians 4:8. We need to spend time in His Word and our mindset will change.

Put the phone down. Pick God's Word up. Find happiness in the comfort of our Lord (2 Corinthians 1:3).

God Loves You. I Love You.

-Frodo