I=Phones and I-dentity: 5 Ways You May be Missing Out

We use social media via our phone, which becomes an extension of ourselves and cared for as our own hand. Why? We don’t want to miss out! When we become slaves to our phones we are missing out on human flourishing. What are we missing out on? These writers and commentators caution us about five ways we may be missing out.

1. Missing out on Identity Formation?

“We spend so much time these days, I think, looking for external validation— with our carefully crafted Instagrams, clever postings, perfect pictures, counting our likes, favorites, followers and friends— that it’s easy to avoid the big questions: Who am I? Am I doing the right thing? Am I the kind of person I want to be?”

“Katie Couric to Grads: Get Yourself Noticed,” Time magazine (May 18, 2015).

2. Missing out on deep conversation and thought?

Alan Jacobs, “I’m Thinking It Over,” The American Conservative, theamericanconservative.com (Jan. 4, 2016).

3. Missing out on freedom of choice?

Andrew Sherwood, “The Sweet Freedom of Ditching My Smartphone,” All Things for Good, garrettkell.com (Jan. 21, 2016).

4. Missing out on the purpose for which we exist?

John Piper, “Six Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning: And a Better Way Forward,” Desiring God, desiringGod.org (June 6, 2015).

5. Missing out on solitude with God for the sake of more loneliness?

Tony Reinke, in his book 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You (Wheaton: Crossway, 2017), summarized how using social media is causing more loneliness:

“The bottom line: technology bends us in a centripetal direction, pulling us toward a central habitat of loneliness and filling our lives with habits that benefit the stakeholders who seek to monetize our attention (p.128).”

Katie Couric seems to agree:

“Social media [and] Constant connectivity can leave you feeling isolated and disconnected. Do not be seduced by the false intimacy of social media.”

“Katie Couric to Grads: Get Yourself Noticed,” Time magazine (May 18, 2015).

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