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Stewardship

Why I Finally Got a Smartphone

I got a smartphone only when I really needed it because technology makes a great servant, but a bad master.

In Why I Don’t Own a Smartphone I stated that my decision to not get one was a matter of ethics. Because I believe my faith and ethics should extend to every area of my life, and not only those traditionally viewed as spiritual. So have I reversed my stance? No, and with God’s help I hope to never do so.

But life is an ongoing process requiring continual change and evaluation. And the time had come to re-evaluate. I had not previously made the purchase because I did not need it. I’m home most of the time with a good internet connection, and did not need to be connected when out.

But as time progressed, the need for a smartphone did come about.

My old phone died suddenly; not surprising as it must have been around 14 years old! So I bought another old-fashioned (non-smart) phone. Only to learn that it didn’t work with the cell phone provider I’d been using. It just wouldn’t pick up here in our town, making it practically useless to me.

But at least I was able to convert that into a new (and needed) home phone for us. (Which I will not go into here, as it’s long and complicated.)

Anyway, I had to change providers, and ended up getting a much better deal. Calls to the USA are included in my large amount of minutes, which is a big benefit with all my family over there! And all for only €7 monthly!

Why I got a smart phone

The only problem was that the new phone didn’t like the SIM card, so Hubby and I traded phones and it worked in his smartphone. But then his wouldn’t work in the old-style phone and he needs a phone for work.

To make a long story short, I realized the time had come to get a smartphone.

I thought I would feel bad about it, because I really didn’t want one and had felt quite strongly about it. But surprisingly I didn’t, because there’s no sense in sticking with something that isn’t working!

And because I was able to make the purchase while keeping to my guidelines regarding technology.

Technology and internet should:

1. Empower us – not control us.

Internet and social media, I believe, should not become the tyranny of the urgent for us, but remain useful viable tools, to be used when and as we choose. It’s up to us to moderate their use, possibly by shutting push notifications off. Or even – gasp – just leaving our phone home or off sometimes!

2. Meet real needs – not market-generated wants.

Companies are experts at getting us to buy unnecessary items and social media services at convincing us to be constantly connected. But if we overspend or neglect real-life relationships, we could be hindered in fully meeting the emotional or material needs of those whom God has placed in our care.

3. Constitute a wise and necessary use of money.

Why buy things we don’t really need, or replace things that function perfectly well? Especially when that money could be used for better purposes.

4. Help us fulfill our social responsibilities.

Ethical living is about keeping right priorities and deciding what’s really important.

Limiting technology purchases and connecting less, could enable us to do more for others. So while we want to value our online relationships, let’s remember to also connect in practical, tangible ways to the poor, needy, hurting, and lonely people all around us.

Possibly buying a bag of groceries, lending an ear, or just spending time together. Which can bring a joy that the latest technology (or any item) can never even come close to matching!

Technology is a useful servant, but a dangerous master.

Christian Lous Lange

Image credits: Smartphone | Person using phone.

8 replies on “Why I Finally Got a Smartphone”

The fact that you stayed true to your values and didn’t see this as an entitlement because “everyone has one” is significant. Our decisions have to be made on necessary facts–and you did that. That encourages me more than anything. Social pressure can be a bear. But God’s Holy Spirit is a sweet guide to what is necessary. It’s never about the thing, is it? It’s always about our attitude toward that thing. Thanks for your honesty.

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It was a bit of a challenge, for sure. But actually, there was another side to it. It was also easy to fall into pride, feeling like I was better than others, because I didn’t have one. It’s all a question of balance and keeping things in the right perspective. That’s why it’s good that we can really rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us. He is always so faithful!!

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Great post! Technology is neither good nor bad. It is all in how we use it or it uses us that makes it good or bad. Smart phones have actually saved us money and time, being able to order only what we need at the grocery store and just go pick it up. Rather than seeing and buying more than we need. It also helps with paying bills online. Thanks for sharing.

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Good insight Tom, because technology is neutral, as all tools are. It just depends how we apply them. That’s an interesting one about ordering your food – we can’t do that over here yet. But I have found that the less I go into stores, the less I spend – for sure. They’re very good at setting things up to get us to buy more!! I am finding my smartphone to be a good tool. But I do want to use it with limits – and keep it just that. A good tool, even for blogging!

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