#60 – Cellular Leashes
Whenever we take our students to camp or on a mission trip, we always ask them to give up using their phones for the duration of the trip. This is a struggle for our students but, in all honesty, it’s a struggle for me as well.
We ask our students to refrain from using their cell phones because they provide a distraction from what we hope God will do in and through our students. Without fail, though, we have to constantly remind the students to put their phones away and, in some cases, physically take them away.
Phones have become virtual leashes, tethering us to a world of text messages and social networking. We think we have control over this virtual realm but it really has control over us. When I begin to doubt this, I only need ask our students to refrain from using their cell phones for a few days. And if I really begin to doubt, then all I need to do is think about what it would be like to refrain from using my cell phone for a few days.
I like to think that I’m less distracted by my phone than our students. These are some of the thoughts I have.
“I only pull out my phone when it’s absolutely necessary.”
“I don’t carry on countless text message conversations. I communicate what needs to be said and move on.”
“I don’t have my cell phone out when something more important is happening.”
Those are all great excuses but that’s all they are – excuses. In all honesty, I’m on my phone as much as high school students are. I don’t carry on countless text conversations full of smiley faces and “LOLs”. I am, however, constantly going over email, sending out tweets and checking the stats for this blog. It’s not that I’m any less tethered to my phone, I simply justify it by doing more important and more mature things.
But they’re not more important or mature and they are just as distracting.
I don’t want to be led around on a leash by my cell phone. I like my phone, I like connecting to social networks with it and I like how it adds to my actual relationships. But I don’t want to be so distracted by my phone that I miss what’s going on right in front of me. If God is going to do something of value in and through my life, I don’t think it’s going to happen on my cell phone.
And when that moment comes, I don’t want to miss it because I was looking at a Twitpic of what someone had for lunch.
How does your phone distract you?
This entry was posted on March 25, 2011 at 3:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized with tags Social Media, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.