How much power do our smartphones hold?
What if we took the time to ask ourselves how much power the devices that we hold in our hands truly have? What purposes do they, should they, and can they serve in our lives? Are they changing us? Or are we changing them?
Are smartphones simply organizational, communicational, social, and professional toolboxes on the go? Or are they re-defining culture itself?
How does their use change the way we think, work, and interact with others?
Can they be used for gospel influence and kingdom purposes? Or do they do more harm than help?
Like many things in this world, smartphones provide several tremendous advantages. Like cars are used to get us from place to place more efficiently, smartphones have the capacity to increase our efficiency quotient immensely in numerous areas of life.
But also like cars, smartphones do not come packaged without their dangers.
Tony Reinke, senior writer for Desiring God ministries, writes, “Never offline, always within reach, we now wield in our hands a magic wand of technological power we have only begun to grasp.”
But with great power comes great responsibility.
Smartphones have taken the power of a computer and placed them into our pockets and into our palms. The functions for which we used to need libraries, offices, desktops, and motherboards to access, we can now utilize instantly without even thinking twice; wherever and whenever.
The question is, how will you respond to the changes that technologies have presented our modern lives?
More and more people admit to phones pulling them away from flesh and blood relationships. This temptation must be resisted. As responsible users of our devices, we ought to let the productivity that they enable drive us towards the community around us. We now have more time for people than ever before.
It will be smart for us to heed the warning signs, like while driving our cars down the road. But we should not let the ways that smartphones have been abused (pornography, etc.) deter us from their abilities for good (evangelism, long-distance friendships, etc.). Our phones can help broadcast the name of our Savior, or they can just as easily help broadcast the name of ourselves. The choice is ours.
Reinke provides helpful statistics and summaries in this infographic that are worth considering for Christians of all ages. While millennials and students are the ones being “changed” the most, every living generation is experiencing the power of these handheld devices.
Whether you are a technological optimist or technological pessimist, you must not deny the power of the smartphone. It should not be immediately condemned nor immediately embraced without wisdom. Wisdom in dealing with smartphones includes both watching out for potential pitfalls and pursuing ways in which they can enhance our spiritual formation and gospel influence worldwide.
And may God get the glory, as the smartphone is here to stay.
 Mitchell, Christians & Digital Media: Benefits and Burdens
Adam Callaway lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife Lindsay. He is a current Master of Divinity student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. He also works part time on staff at College Church in Wheaton while he trains to become a pastor.