Young People And The Use Of Smartphones In Church

Young people should refrain from using their smartphones while attending church

In my honest opinion, smartphone habits have been largely unchecked, undisciplined, and unhealthy. We have become so reliant on technology to drive our entertainment, social and knowledge network and they naturally begin to intertwine with our work lives and sometimes our spiritual lives. With all its glory, conveniences and consequences the age of technological advancement has introduced some bad vices into our churches that is hindering the spiritual life of a Christian.

Walk into any of the Kenyan churches on a Sunday. The preachers utilize this technology to deliver their summons. The congregation uses the same technology with apps like The Bible app by you version, Bible gateway, Bible.is readily available for download to read their bibles, scripture memorization as well as take notes on their hand held devices. Be that as it may, tech has also introduced bad vices especially from distractions with the platforms that shape our habit and the content (gossip, slander and porn) shared on these devices. Young people are the ones mostly affected.
Many young people suffer from FOMO, the fear of missing out. In a recent survey 33% check phones during a meal, 55% check their phones while driving and 19% admitted to checking their phones while in a church service.
They allow their phones to lull them into a false sense of carnal security. They don’t use their phones to accelerate their progress to perfection.

A preacher would be delivering a sermon but a lady sited among the faithful’s keeps distracting them from the sermon with her chuckles and giggles while fiddling with her phone from probably a cat video or a pop up alert from her favorite website.

Our unchallenged social-media habits pose one of the most pressing challenges in the church today. This is particularly concerning with rising numbers of complaints from the elderly generation. The following are some of the major effects technology has introduced to our places of worship.

Unnecessary distractions.

We are now more easily distracted from the important issues in our lives as technology continues to take over our lives. The nature of digital communication is that we are endlessly distracted.
Pesky notifications, center banners, pop-ups, badges, loud ringtones and vibrations as well as bright backlight are some of the distractions smart devices bring to a church.
According to Bruce Hindmarsh, a professor of theology at John Newton, in the spiritual life you need to be reminded of every six minutes — ‘recollected’ is the old word for this: We live in the presence of God, we live intentionally, and we live out of a calm center, spiritually.” distractions from technology affect this.

Lack of filters

There is also a loss of knowledge hierarchies. Before the advancement of technology if someone wanted to publish, just the expense of publishing meant that the proposal had go through a peer review process. It went through rigorous scrutiny prior to it being released.
The loss of hierarchies is potentially a loss of filtering — a loss of wisdom. It means that knowledge
Is not a part of a system of learning from those who have experience in wisdom, who have been entrusted .we have lost that ability to see things in terms of how they relate to trusted authorities. A member of a congregation may be busy reading the content of a particular blog, matters spirituality but the information might be from a shallow, short sided individual soliciting traffic to their site.

Recommended Solutions
Fast from Your Phone
Smartphone fasting, whether one day a week, or for a week or more at a stretch, is a pressing need for most of us. saying ‘no’ to something good to say ‘yes’ to realize the benefits of others, this can ensure we do not become addicted and enslaved, and making space eventually make space for God.
Many of us will need to make physical separation from our phones.
Mr. Hindmarsh suggests that when a person wakes up in the morning the first thing they shouldn’t do is get online, they can begin with prayer and Bible reading and have a space for that, rather than immediately jumping on digital media.”

Pen the thoughts, notes on a journal by Hand
Writing down on a paper has an oddly satisfying effects to those who use it as a complement of using a smart phone. So maybe while you give up email for a time, writing reminders on your scheduler or jotting down important notes in church choose to write a letter with pen, ink, and paper. This will reduce the number of distractions you’re bound to face to the bare minimum.

Be present

The number-one best-practice behavior for using digital mobile devices. One’s presence is foundational to social interaction. And as we know, it is foundational to our participation in church. Being present means giving our full attention to the entire church service including the Word of God, the priest and his homily, the prayer petitions. Finally, it means being present to those around us.

As one priest from the Arlington, VA diocese wrote concerning use of cell phones in the church setting:

“We have to will to choose Christ above all things, and to love Christ above all things. Each person must strive to participate fully at the Mass, making it a genuine act of worship of God. With all of the pressures and responsibilities that a person faces each day, he must take that one hour each week for Mass and give it totally to God, for the sake of his own soul. Granted, everyone battles distractions which break our concentration at Mass; nevertheless, each person must do his best to eliminate as many potential distractions as possible and focus on the Mass.”

Study the Disconnected people

Mr. Hindmarsh, says that many of us are deeply embedded in a society that’s online 24/7, and we need examples of faithful Christians who live offline. This can be true of believers who take lengthy, disconnected career leaves and report back on what they learned from the experiment.
This people can become digital monks and digital hermits, to preserve and report back what it is like to live another way. They would then report on just how long a man can unplug and live that way. The rest of us can learn from them.

Observe Phone etiquette

For the young generation who think penning down their notes on paper or are ashamed to carry bibles to church they need to learn appropriate phone usage, especially while in churches. They should silence their mobile devices, dim the lights on their devices, disable notifications and switching to airplane mode. Once in church they should also avoid fiddling with their devices, it should be put away until its needed. It is also preferable to sit in a corner to reduce the number of people who see your phone.

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