Save Me From My Cell Phone

There is a new Window’s Phone commercial out with the catch slogan “A Phone to Save Us from Our Cell Phones.”  The commercial shows a man and his wife in a rather intimate scene and he doesn’t even notice his wife is wearing silky lingerie.

Add that slogan to the woman who fell into a shopping mall fountain because she was texting and not paying attention.  Add that to the millions of accidents on highways and roads where drivers have been texting and caused a serious accident.  Add that to state laws banning cellphone usage by drivers under the age of 18. 

From all accounts it appears we really do need to be saved from our phones.  But not with another cell phone!  Salvation from cell phone addiction (i.e., the crack-berry), texting while driving, and  falling into fountains because you’re not paying attention is not found in a simpler model with fewer apps and less digital distractions.

Salvation comes from turning it off.  Unplugging.  Putting it away.  Stop looking at it.  Maybe even letting it go forever.  What I call “Going Amish.”

I teach Millennial students everyday who can’t conceive living a minute of their young lives without a cellphone.  Putting their phone away, even for a 60 minute class period, is unthinkable and suffocating.  What if they miss a text?  What if they aren’t available when someone calls?  Anxiety and stress kicks in when the phone is in their backpack and not sitting on the desk in front of them.

Studies have found that Millennials and their younger siblings the iGens are losing between 1-2 hours of sleep every night because of their cell phone.  Apparently they keep the phones on all night long lying right next to their ears.  As texts come in and out, they stay awake and never really fall into deep sleep ( or REM).  This finding has been loosely linked to adolescent obesity, depression, early sexual activity, early drug abuse, self-mutilation and eating disorders.

I primarily teach students who are considering Christian ministry.  I overheard a student in the hallways say they couldn’t go on an international mission trip because they wouldn’t have access to their cellphone.  I’m still not sure if they were joking or serious.  But in the discussion, I heard the girl say she could not leave home to serve in a developing country because they wouldn’t cell phone access for the 2 week period.  Is that really what it has come to?

Maybe the people at Windows have it right.  We really do need to be saved from our phones.

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