Technology and Faith
I recently watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, and it’s sparked some interesting conversations amongst my friends. Although we all know that big tech companies have been collecting our data for years, it was disturbing to think about how our phones and computers are being used to manipulate our behavior. It got me wondering, what does God have to say about our relationships with technology and specifically our phones? Although we don’t have a scripture on such a topic, Jesus spent a lot of time flipping the “status quo” and norms.
Over the past few weeks, here are some things I feel like God is teaching me about my relationship with technology and specifically, my phone:
It’s unlikely I’ll ever look back and wish I had spent more time on my phone, but it’s likely just the opposite.
If I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with technology, I must be able to model it to them, which means I shouldn’t have my phone out all the time.
If my phone buzzes when in my pocket, it’s nearly impossible for me to not look at it. If I don’t want to be distracted, I have to put it away in a separate room.
My phone can be a distraction and sabotage the ability to relate to and connect with others in a real and meaningful way.
If there is downtime, I have an ingrained habit of picking up my phone to pass time.
It’s been interesting as I’ve spent time discussing technology and asking the Lord what I need to know about it, there has been a gentle and loving nudge that comes from a Good Father, and not a condemning or guilt producing sentiment. There are many distractions that could be Netflix (or any streaming service), social media, the latest news articles, online shopping, sports, or any number of things that keep us glued to our screen. Again, it’s not that our phones, TV or technology is a bad thing, but simply is a tool that can become an enormous distraction, or worse yet, an idol if we aren’t paying attention.
My encouragement would be to spend some time and ask God the question:
“What do I need to know about my relationship with technology or my phone?”
Tell Him the honest truth about what you’re afraid of or any other negative emotions that are associated with our technology.
Our Good Father is always with us, whether we are aware of His presence or not. And his grace, power, and love are more than enough to help us have a healthy relationship with Him, others, and our devices as we learn to trust him more fully.