In a recent piece for Southern Seminary magazine, I considered the sometimes irresistible pull toward modern technology:
We have all seen it. The father, surrounded by t-shirted kids clamoring for his attention, lost in the alternate universe of his iPhone. “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” they shout, little arms straight up in the air, as if they can physically pull his attention back to them. It’s enough to make a casual bystander want to jab the guy in the ribs.
The jabbing of ribs is like the casting of stones, though: it’s easy for us to do it to other people, but hard for us to apply the same rules to ourselves. We see how people around us are tuning their families out, and we shake our heads. But then — bing! — we get a new email or text message, and suddenly we’re swimming in the vortex, feverishly pounding out an instantaneous response to a minor matter. All the while, our wife, our kids, our friends are waiting. “There he goes again.” “I remember what life used to be like before smartphones.” “Maybe if I jabbed him in the ribs?”
I go on to give five strategies for healthy, gospel-driven use of technology. Friends don’t let friends use iPhones irresponsibly.