Do You Control Your Phone—Or Does Your Phone Control You?
Within a few years of its unveiling, the smartphone had become part of us, fully integrated into the daily patterns of our lives. Never offline, always within reach, we now wield in our hands a magic wand of technological power we have only begun to grasp. But it raises new enigmas, too. Never more connected, we seem to be growing more distant. Never more efficient, we have never been more distracted.
Drawing from the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed us—for good and bad. Reinke calls us to cultivate wise thinking and healthy habits in the digital age, encouraging us to maximize the many blessings, avoid the various pitfalls, and wisely wield the most powerful gadget of human connection ever unleashed.
Table of Contents
Foreword by John Piper
Introduction: A Little Theology of Technology
- We Are Addicted to Distraction
- We Ignore Our Flesh and Blood
- We Crave Immediate Approval
- We Lose Our Literacy
- We Feed on the Produced
- We Become Like What We “Like”
- We Get Lonely
- We Get Comfortable in Secret Vices
- We Lose Meaning
- We Fear Missing Out
- We Become Harsh to One Another
- We Lose Our Place in Time
Conclusion: Living Smartphone Smart
“Are Christians using technology to transform the world or is technology transforming Christians in unhealthy ways? Especially since the era of Franklin and Jefferson, when inventing things and technological ways of organizing things became a way of life, Christians have needed to be alert to such questions. Tony Reinke’s reflections on the smartphone offer helpful advice as to how people today need to be vigilant regarding the impact of their favorite new technologies.” — George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; author, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship
“12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is an incredibly convicting and profoundly insightful read. Smartphones have become a part of our lives, but Tony explores the devastation to the human mind and soul due to devotion to technology. He calls us to examine not merely the use of our smartphones but the motives that inspire it. This is a necessary book for our generation, to remind us that our phone habits will either amplify or get in the way of our most important longing of all: the soul-satisfying glory of our Savior.” — Jackie Hill Perry, poet; writer; hip-hop artist
“In contrast to the television that dominates the modern living room, the smartphone is typically far less conspicuous in its presence. Perhaps on account of this subtle unobtrusiveness, surprisingly few have devoted sustained reflection to the effect this now ubiquitous technology is having on our lives. In this book, Tony Reinke plucks these devices from the penumbra of our critical awareness and subjects them to the searching light of Christian wisdom. The result is an often sobering assessment of the effect they are having on our lives, accompanied by much prudent and practical counsel for mastering them. This is a timely and thoughtful treatment of a profoundly important issue, a book that should be prescribed to every Christian smartphone owner for the sake of our spiritual health.” — Alastair Roberts, theologian; blogger