girl with smartphone

An Open Letter to Smartphones

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DEAR SMARTPHONE,

I’m seriously confused! I hear so many conflicting messages about what you are. Are you the technological menace that will wreak havoc upon society and turn us into blind, mindless zombies? Or are you the wonder of the century that will connect and spread ideas across the globe in wondrous harmony?

According to some people, you are a foul menace that has disconnected us from the real world. Some accuse you of killing face-to-face interaction and downgrading the intelligence of the average human being. On the other hand, there are people who claim we simply cannot live without you! I’m just really perplexed at who to believe.

However, after living in a world that is constantly in debate about this subject, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that you are neither as good or as bad as people like to think you are. You’re neither the villain, nor the hero, just a weapon that can be picked up by either. I mean if a murder occurs, you’re not going to charge the weapon with the felony and ship it off to prison. You can’t blame beds for sleeping in late or pencils for misspelled words! There are a lot of things in this world that can become harmful to us, but they mostly become problems when you add a person to that equation.

[Smartphones] were created with the purpose of connecting people and ideas, which is a healthy and noble cause (not to mention convenient). It’s when people misuse this gift to replicate or replace the genuine things in life that we have trouble.

Yes, you can be an issue. You become a problem when people use you to substitute reality, live double lives within your world, or ignore the dangers that can be hidden inside the fun you bring. That’s when things get messy. Our society has been taught less and less self-control as the years progress. So, of course, when you introduce something as enticing as technology, the majority of people are going to use it out of context of its healthy purpose. In fact, that is a lot of what sin is when you think about it. Taking something good and not applying self-control towards its use. There’s nothing wrong with beds or pencils. So it stands to reason that there is nothing inherently wrong with smartphones! They were created with the purpose of connecting people and ideas, which is a healthy and noble cause (not to mention convenient). It’s when people misuse this gift to replicate or replace the genuine things in life that we have trouble. I think we must also understand that not all people are like that. If we’re to blame anything or anyone, we should blame the culture that has told us that more is always best, and not the electrical devices that can’t really do anything on their own…

This is also a matter of the heart. When it comes to the joys as well as the temptations you offer, I think it’s important that we take time to ask the King of our heart how He would like to see this tool used for His glory. 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.” The key phrase is I will not be enslaved by anything.

We need to take responsibility for our own actions. God commands us to redeem the time. How we do that is not up to the devices we decide to use.

So Smartphone, I hereby pardon you from all crimes of which you stand accused today. Have fun sitting in someone’s palm, pocket, or couch cushion doing absolutely nothing to destroy the world on your own.

And may we as a society do our part to promote self-control.

Best wishes,

Hannah Walker

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