This Holiday season saw a 148% increase in activations of iOS and Android devices over the same time last year. That means millions of people around the world are walking around with new smartphones, iPads, iTouches, et cetera. I can relate, because my dad was one of them. Even as I write this, he is typing on an iPad and my mom is browsing on an iPhone in the same room. The world of information has exploded in the last ten years…I now have complete access to internet services, social networks, Wikipedia etc. 24/7 (except for that time I spent in Oxford, WI, where apparently AT&T does not exist). But with the new massive and growing demographic of people who possess smartphones, even in third world Middle Eastern country, we have to ask the question, How may we best glorify God with these tools which He has given us? Here are some tips:
Protection: With the expansion of internet availability, the amount of access to tens of millions of disreputable webpages has expanded as well. While there is no fool-proof way to guard ourselves throughout our life from all forms of immorality (like not going to Walmart), we don’t have to leave unnecessary channels open. There are several secure browsers out there made specifically for iOS, such as:
Covenant Eyes (both of which require paid accounts).
Of course, the problem is, if your used to using Apple Safari on your phone, the aforementioned browsers seem like what they are: unspeakable junk. To remedy this, I do a lot of my browsing through independent applications. Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, The Gospel Coalition, and WordPress (so I can access my blog administration) are just a few examples. Even though there is a sacrifice involved, in the end it’s better safe than sorry.
Why? 1) because a heart filled with forbidden things has little room to be filled with Christ. The fact that Christ demands that we stay away from lust is stand alone incentive to cut off the channels through which it seeks to enter, even if we have to put up with a slow, low-tech mobile browser.
2) Because the a young woman out there, somewhere, that God intends for me. I want to do my best at loving her as Christ loved the Church now, by protecting what should be saved for her.
Really good apps: Not wanting to write only on a negative note, there are a lot of really positive ways in which our smartphones can be of help to us. Besides begin able to keep up with old acquaintances, submit words against your friends, and Tweet that insight that you no the world couldn’t live without, you can carry in your pocket unprecedented opportunities of education, study, and all the normal useful tasks. Maps. Poynt, and News are obvious. But there are literally thousand of free eBooks, good books, that can be read on the go, or in those long sittings in the waiting room. There are,
Bibles. OliveTree bible software is a wonderful app for in depth study, casual reading, and storage of all your favorite commentaries and Christian books. Blue Letter Bible gives you access to an enormous online database, and YouVersion lets you share the Scriptures through texting and social networks while you read.
I use my phone to practice through Mounce’s wonderful and expensive flashcard app: there are no limits on what you can do to heighten your efficiency in ways that matter, if you resolve that your PDA, smartphone, or Tablet belong to Christ and should be used to His glory.