Preserving Hope: Ditch the smartphone

Smartphone addiction is a problem. It robs us of free time, preventing us from reading as many books as possible or smelling the roses. It distracts us from our children and loved ones. It even causes car accidents and the breakdown of relationships. But is there a solution?

First, turn your smartphone into a dumb phone. If you have a smartphone, delete all your distracting apps, especially social media. Delete your web browsers. Delete anything that isn’t absolutely necessary or distracts you from focusing on the most important things in life. Turn off notifications (I even set my smartphone to grayscale). If you want to learn more about this step, check out this article or this article.

Second, use your extra time more fruitfully. As you have more time, I would encourage you to focus on three areas:

  1. Spend more time with your family without distraction.
  2. Spend more time with yourself without distraction.
  3. Spend more time with God without distraction.

After all, this is a religious column, and I am a pastor. I sincerely believe that there is no better way to spend your time. If you have a Bible, take some time to read it. Take notes about what you learn: What does this teach about God? What does this teach you about yourself? What does this teach about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation? How can this help you love the people around you better? And since you have more time since you’re not on social media or scrolling on your phone, take time to pray through these things, asking God to apply them to your heart. As the Apostle Paul says to the Ephesian church, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15–16, ESV).

About Will Stern

Originally from Colorado, Will Stern is the pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church in Garnet Valley. He majored in violin performance for his undergrad and taught violin for a number of years before being called into ministry. He studied theology at Duke University and Westminster Theological Seminary.

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