The dangers of the smartphone and screen time.
I have been running an online study of God’s Word on Facebook and this month we are looking at Proverbs.
I love the way God shows each member of our group different things to look at. This morning during the sermon a church I heard why that happens.
Our Pastor said, “As we examine His Word, God examines us.”
And that’s exactly what we have found while studying the first 5 proverbs.
As I studied Proverbs 5 I knew it talked about faithfulness and the sin of adultery. As I focused on verse 3, I read:
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
This made me think of other things that give me pleasure, but are not necessarily good for my spirit.
I thought of all the enticements that the world offers that we have to be aware of. There are many.
Then I thought about social media.
Looking at the honey analogy I see that social media is sweet, enticing and tastes good.
Recently, I read a very good article in the Globe and Mail that showed me that although our desire to see who is talking online and whether people are liking and commenting is very sweet, it is worse than that — we are wanting more and more.
And to make it worse the people behind the programs, like Facebook and Instagram, can manipulate our “likes” to make us come back to check — which is exactly what they want — the more views, the better advertising. Oh — they caught us!
But how and why do we continue to want to do this?
It’s all about something called dopamine. It’s a funny word — because it reminds me of the word dope — or simple-minded. We are been played for fools.
Screen time has been called “digital heroin”.
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter. And somehow screens with their likes, comments, games, bring about this feeling. It makes us want more. It is addictive.
Can you live without your smartphone for a week, a day, or a couple of hours? If you can’t answer yes — you may be addicted.
It drips like honey — enticing you.
In the second part of the Proverbs it talks about lips having speech smoother than oil.
There is so much on the Internet that slips into our minds without our noticing if it’s right or wrong. It may soothe your ego, flatter your ability, or lie to you.
Listen to Psalm 5:6
“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongues they tell lies.”
Can that be what we are listening or reading?
Is there a way out of this?
I think there is.
It is called discipline and wisdom.
Read the first 5 proverbs, and you will see that God will provide us the wisdom we need if we ask Him.
In prayer we can ask for help with our own cell addictions and those of our children.
I know with God’s help we can use the devices with wisdom, and discretion.
And for what we read and share on the Net — we need to research it thoroughly and test it against the Word of God. Does it line up?
I would say that:
If it is hateful — it is not of God
If it is judgmental — It is not of God
If it is hurtful — It is not of God.
Remember Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
The more we read the Bible, the more we pray and the more we listen, we will find the wisdom of God.
And when we do we will find joy, love, peace and hope as well.
May I pray for you and me?
Father, we know there are things of this world that can be good and bad. We know that You can help us discern how much time we spend on our phones, and how we can use them wisely to glorify You. Help us to find that way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Until next time, check yourself and your family. Are you snared by that phone? Are you missing out in personal communication? Pray for control over that device and stay in the Word to gather discernment about its use.