STUDIES REVEAL THAT WE CHECK our smartphones a lot. Different studies show we may check them as many as 47—or 150—or even 300—times a day. Research also shows that every time we get a “like” or a notification, we’re hit with a dose of dopamine, which is also what happens when people use and abuse caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, shopping, sex, video games, online porn, power, or gambling. Dopamine is known as the “feel good” hormone, and it can lead to addictions.1
I love using my smartphone, but lately I’ve been asking, “Is my smartphone use becoming addictive?”
As Christian leaders, we have to be honest with ourselves about this subtle device that we hold in our hands.
Louie Giglio in a podcast called “Don’t Waste Your Time”2 shared the following:
• The average American lives 75 years.
• Twenty-six of those years are spent sleeping.
• Seven years are spent trying to fall asleep!
• Eleven years are spent working.
• Five years are spent surfing the Internet.
• Four years are spent looking at our phones and interacting with social media.
Unbelievable! Are we disappearing into the portals of our phone?
I write out of the conviction of my own heart—not to pass along guilt, but rather to raise awareness. If I want to connect more with my heavenly Father and with my family and friends, I need to be intentional about minimizing interference.
How much of heaven am I missing by watching trivial things on my cell phone or getting lost in the world of Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram?
When we intentionally put our phones away for a time, we’re more likely to talk with others, take in the scenery, be more productive, and live a life that is fully alive. So will you join me in facing this issue honestly?
In her podcast Set Apart Girl, Christian author Leslie Ludy says, “Even though digital communication has its place, there is a much greater real-life, daily adventure that God has planned for you! So put down your phone, close your computer, and open your eyes to see the people that He has placed right in
front of you today. Don’t waste your life in a virtual reality. Live in a real world. Learn the art of face-to-face communication—the hands-on gospel work. Facebook, texting, and Instagram should never dominate your life. Those things will not last for eternity—so don’t build your life around social media; build your life
around Jesus Christ.”3
1 Learn more at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201209/whywere-all-addicted-texts-twitter-and-google.