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12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

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Great message for us all
Today I will share with you an audiobook called 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke. The title is self-explanatory, but I wanted to share a little about the book here.

What effect is your phone having on your life? The author shares a very insightful book that is very relevant to our culture. There is a whole lot of information here about phones, social media, etc. and our responses to this. It is really eye opening to think about how attached we are to our phones.

One thing that stuck out to me was how when we post pictures on social media we are looking for the approval of others. How many likes will this get? The author even shares stories of people who spend great deals of money getting the "perfect image" to share. What he goes on to say is are we more concerned with getting the approval of men or of God?

I do not have a smart phone but do have an iPad so this was still relevant for me. It has given me a lot to think about for myself. This is a message that we all need to consider. I highly recommend this book to you.

The book was read by Tom Parks. He was a great choice for this book in my opinion and very easy to listen to.
I received this book for my review from christianaudio Reviewers program. Thank you.
Review by / (Posted on 6/23/2017)
Painful (in all the right ways)
This book is a painfully wonderful eye-opener. We KNOW we're addicted to our phones, but we tend to look at the addiction in a very general "I should use my phone less" sort of way. This book looks at the very real, very specific consequences of not being intentional with the why and how when it comes to our phones. I've already recommended it to a ton of people.
Review by / (Posted on 6/1/2017)
Scriptural, Thoughtful, Edifying, Avoids Technophobia and Technophilia
The best way to summarize this book is probably to let the author do it.

"In the last twelve chapters, I have warned against twelve corresponding ways in which smartphones are changing us and undermining our spiritual health."

(The following is a verbatim quotation.)

- Our phones amplify our addiction to distractions (chapter 1), and thereby splinter our perception of our place in time (12).
- Our phones push us to evade the limits of embodiment (2) and thereby cause us to treat one another harshly (11).
- Our phones feed our craving for immediate approval (3) and promise to hedge against our fears of missing out (10).
- Our phones undermine key literary skills (4) and, because of our lack of discipline, make it increasingly difficult for us to identify ultimate meaning (9).
- Our phones offer us a buffet of produced media (5) and tempt us to indulge in visual vices (8).
- Our phones overtake and distort our identity (6) and tempt us toward unhealthy isolation and loneliness (7).

Sounds pretty dire. But Reinke is, at heart, a technophile, not a technophobe; and he doesn’t conclude from these dangers that every Christian needs to smash his smartphone. He offers positive practices in place of the negative.

(More verbatim quotation:)

Along the way, I have also attempted to commend twelve life disciplines we need to preserve our spiritual health in this smartphone age:
- We minimize unnecessary distractions in life to hear form God (chapter 1) and to find our place in God’s unfolding history (12).
- We embrace our flesh-and-blood embodiment (2) and handle one another with grace and gentleness (11).
- We aim at God’s ultimate approval (3) and find that, in Christ, we have no ultimate regrets to fear (10).
- We treasure the gift of literacy (4) and prioritize God’s Word (9).
- We listen to God’s voice in creation (5) and find a fountain of delight in the unseen Christ (8).
- We treasure Christ to be molded into his image (6) and seek to serve the legitimate needs of our neighbors (7).

A few more thoughts from this reviewer:

One question that really stuck out to me, toward the end of the book: do I deserve to spend time on social media trivialities right now? Sobering.

Another question Reinke pressed on me helpfully is one I have to ask all the time, especially in my line of work as a professional blogger: do I have an unhealthy interest in validation-through-social-shares? That one’s tough when your job description involves increasing social shares.

Chapter 11 was really excellent, about slander and "outrage porn." This is good wisdom:

"In an age when anyone with a smart phone can publish dirt on anyone else, we must know that spreading antagonistic messages online with the intent of provoking hostility without any desire for resolution is what the world calls 'trolling,' and the New Testament calls 'slander.'"

I sometimes wonder how much of our society’s public worry (and public kvetching) over the dangers of technology will seem quaint to our great grandchildren—like those who worried around the turn of the 20th century that people wouldn’t be able to breathe if cars exceeded 10 miles per hour, because the air would be rushing by too fast. But we’re not our grandkids. We’re us. I can’t shake the feeling that the world really has changed, that the Internet has amplified our fallenness more than it has increased our virtue. The overall tone of Reinke’s book is one of gentle warning and instruction, and I think that’s perfectly appropriate.

This is definitely my new go-to book for wisdom on the use of consumer technology. (Dyer’s From the Garden to the City is a good complement to it.)

The reader in the Christian Audio production was smooth and serviceable, though (to be a little too frank?) a little too much like a male version of Siri for my tastes. This book called for reading with a little more feeling, a little more homiletical intensity. But I was able to go triple speed (is that ironic?) and understand perfectly.

I got this book for free for review purposes from Christian Audio, but they attached no strings to my opinions.
Review by / (Posted on 5/31/2017)
A Much Needed Conversation in our Culture
Cell phones are a recent phenomenon and haven't been around for very long. The long-term effects have not been as easily observed, though sadly culture has experienced the negative effects, such as the rise of phone-related injuries and fatalities. Tony Reinke offers an insightful look into the gadget generation as one who makes a living online. As the book title unambiguously suggests, he identifies and explains 12 ways our phones are changing us. Some are more influential than others, but his overall assessment is convincing as well as convicting. He is careful not to approach technology as the devil but as a tool. The real problem with technology is our own tendency to make it an idol in our lives. The gospel radiates through these pages, constantly reminding us of our own need for salvation from the idols of our hearts. Along with these 12 observations, Reinke also suggests safeguards to put in place to remind us when technology starts to dethrone God. He maintains a balanced approach to technology by putting it in its place as a tool which can be used to make God's glorious name made known to an online community desperate for authentic relationships. I received this audiobook from in exchange for an honest review.
Review by / (Posted on 5/18/2017)
Mr. Reinke's book is one of the most helpful, most important examinations of the impact that our smart phones are having on our souls that I have run across. Any Christian who owns a smart phone should read this book—and I would even broaden that to anyone who engages in any kind of electronic technology: computers, televisions, etc. Mr. Reinke offers each of us God-honoring resources to help "each one test his own work" (Galatians 6:4). (The narrator is excellent, too.)
Review by / (Posted on 5/18/2017)
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