12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You


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Writer Tony Reinke identifies twelve potent ways our smartphones have changed our lives—for good and ill—and calls us to develop healthy habits for life in the digital age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433552434
Publisher: Crossway
Publication date: 04/30/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 103,508
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Tony Reinke is the communications director for desiringGod.org. He is the author of Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading BooksNewton on the Christian Life; and 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You.

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring GodDon’t Waste Your LifeThis Momentary MarriageA Peculiar Glory; and Reading the Bible Supernaturally.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Piper 11

Preface 15

Introduction: A Little Theology of Technology 29

1 We Are Addicted to Distraction 41

2 We Ignore Our Flesh and Blood 55

3 We Crave Immediate Approval 65

4 We Lose Our Literacy 79

5 We Feed on the Produced 91

6 We Become Like What We "Like" 109

7 We Get Lonely 119

8 We Get Comfortable in Secret Vices 131

9 We Lose Meaning 145

10 We Fear Missing Out 153

11 We Become Harsh to One Another 163

12 We Lose Our Place in Time 177

Conclusion: Living Smartphone Smart 189

Epilogue 203

Acknowledgments 212

General Index 214

Scripture Index 221

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Are Christians using technology to transform the world or is technology transforming Christians in unhealthy ways? Especially since the era of Franklin and Jefferson, when inventing things and technological ways of organizing things became a way of life, Christians have needed to be alert to such questions. Tony Reinke’s reflections on the smartphone offer helpful advice as to how people today need to be vigilant regarding the impact of their favorite new technologies.”
George M. Marsden, author, C. S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity”: A Biography

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is an incredibly convicting and profoundly insightful read. Smartphones have become a part of our lives, but Tony explores the devastation to the human mind and soul due to devotion to technology. He calls us to examine not merely the use of our smartphones but the motives that inspire it. This is a necessary book for our generation, to remind us that our phone habits will either amplify or get in the way of our most important longing of all: the soul-satisfying glory of our Savior.”
Jackie Hill Perry, poet; author; hip-hop artist

“In contrast to the television that dominates the modern living room, the smartphone is typically far less conspicuous in its presence. Perhaps on account of this subtle unobtrusiveness, surprisingly few have devoted sustained reflection to the effect this now ubiquitous technology is having on our lives. In this book, Tony Reinke plucks these devices from the penumbra of our critical awareness and subjects them to the searching light of Christian wisdom. The result is an often sobering assessment of the effect they are having on our lives, accompanied by much prudent and practical counsel for mastering them. This is a timely and thoughtful treatment of a profoundly important issue, a book that should be prescribed to every Christian smartphone owner for the sake of our spiritual health.”
Alastair J. Roberts, theologian; blogger

“Tony Reinke’s 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is one of the most important little books a twenty-first-century Christian could read. Highly recommended.”
Bruce Riley Ashford, Provost and Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; coauthor, The Gospel of Our King

“For many, the phone is an object of increasing anxiety, exhaustion, and dependency. The wise Tony Reinke leads us practically to find freedom from the phone without requiring us to huddle away in a monastery somewhere in the middle of Montana. If you want to know how to steward your technology and your life for Christ and his kingdom, read this.”
Russell Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

“If you feel uneasy about your constant relationship with your phone (and even if you don’t, but wonder if you should), you will find Tony Reinke to be a reliable guide for how we should assess the impact of our phones on ourselves and our relationships. A marvelous book that tackles a massive subject in clear and compelling language!”
Trevin Wax, author, This Is Our Time

“Two things strike me about this book. First, Reinke writes with great humility, including himself in the narrative to help us see him not only as a teacher but also as a fellow struggler. Second, this is not a guilt-ridden slog through what not to do. Tony keeps pulling us up into the glories of Christ and even helps us to dream of new ways to glorify God through our digital technologies. Helpful, hopeful, humbling, and inspiring, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is a book for this age and wisdom for generations to follow.”
Trillia Newbell, author, Sacred Endurance; If God Is for Us; and Fear and Faith

“Image is everything, and for a woman who has built her identity on the sands of how she’s embraced online, the eventual letdown will come like a crash. But there’s a better way forward, a way to use our phones in selfless service, to glorify God in our connectivity, and to image Christ by our phone behaviors. For this, we must evaluate our glowing screens and train our discernment to see the difference between the sight-driven habits of our age and the Scripture-lit pathway of faith. Every chapter of this book is like the right kind of push notification in our lives. Stop, read, process, and apply with care.”
Gloria Furman, author, Missional Motherhood and The Pastor’s Wife

“As a teenager and a smartphone user, I needed this book. Tony Reinke is compelling and convicting, yet continually meets us with grace. My generation needs this book, because we need to get technology right. If we don’t, the cost is great. 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You should be a must-read for every smartphone user, especially for us younger ones.”
Jaquelle Crowe, author, This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years

“It took more than a generation for the quaint ‘horseless carriage,’ with all its magic and horror, to become the ordinary, unexamined ‘car.’ But the device we once called a ‘smartphone’ has reached its status as ‘phone’—a common, everyday inevitability—with such breathtaking speed that it has left us little time for reflection on the true power it has in our lives. Tony offers us a distinctly Christian take on the little wonders in our pockets, seeing their goodness, beauty, and power, but also applying godly wisdom and well-researched cautions to help readers use their phones without being used by their phones.”
John Dyer, author, From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology

“Experience practical theology at its finest as Tony applies a thorough understanding of the Scriptures to a thorough understanding of our culture, resulting in a beautifully written and balanced guide to the dangers and opportunities in the palms of our hands. Yes, our phones have changed us for the worse, but this book will change us and our phone use for the better.”
David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“The more widespread and influential something is, the more Christians should think carefully about it. In this wisdom-filled book, Tony Reinke helps us do just that with the smartphone. Without descending into technophobia or paranoia, he shows the various ways in which phones are changing our lives, highlighting both the problems with this and the solutions to it. A timely and thoughtful book.”
Andrew Wilson, Pastor, Kings Church London; author, The Life We Never Expected and Unbreakable

“Rarely is a book as practically impactful as it is theologically rich. In an age in which daily we are drawn into a digital vortex, Tony Reinke warns of the implications and challenges us to examine whether our phones have displaced our spiritual priorities in Christ. With unflinching honesty, Reinke shares his own technological struggles, and in so doing, moves us to a posture of reflection, prayer, and even repentance. Thoroughly engaging and immediately applicable, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You is a must-read for our time.”
Kim Cash Tate, author, Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God

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12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ashleywrites02 More than 1 year ago
This book . . . it is fantastic. Let me give you three reasons why you should read it, if you haven’t already. First, this book is highly educational. It is apparent that Reinke did a tremendous amount of research about our phones, how we interact with them, how we use them as tools, and even how they can potentially rule us, if we’re not careful. Everything he included is eye-opening and helpful, but not all of it leaves you feeling safe. I knew in my heart that phones, and our constant access to information, had the potential to be dangerous, but I’d only ever waded into the water of those thoughts. Reinke took me all the way in, neck deep, and helped me to see just how my phone has been shaping my life. It would do the same for you. Second, this book is convicting–the sort of convicting that makes you literally wince as your eyes pass over the pages. This is not to say that Reinke is condescending or judgmental; rather the opposite, he is the first to reveal the unpleasant phone habits he has picked up along the way. But he points out tendencies of smartphone use that can be clearly connected to changes in our relationships with people or, even worse, our relationship with God. You will appreciate the way 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You will, well, change you. The table of contents gives you a taste of the topics. Third–and this might seem a little nerdy–the book was deliberately written with a chiastic structure. (Chapter 1 relates to 12, 2 relates to 11, 3 to 10, and so on.) On the surface, this might not seem like a reason to pick up a book. But there is something satisfying about a book beginning and ending in the same place. It gives a sense that the journey is complete. You have come full circle. And that is precisely how one feels upon finishing 12 Ways. That, and perhaps ready to throw her phone in the Ohio River (or at least turn it off for a while). You can find 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You on Amazon or Christian Books. You can learn more about Tony Reinke on his website, https://tonyreinke.com/. I received a complimentary copy of this e-book from Crossway.
Bryan_DeWire More than 1 year ago
Am I using my phone — or is my phone using me? We all feel it, our smartphones grab more and more of our time, changing us in subtle ways over the years. For well-reasoned counsel to help us thrive under the new pressures of the digital age, this book is a wonderful help, in these 12 ways. 1. The book is God-centered. God governs over all technology, and this book shines the light of God’s sovereignty over the technological age. 2. The counsel of the book is wisely nuanced. Given the diversity of our smartphone habits, we are called to carefully understand our own personal wiring. 3. From the first page, the back-and-forth nature of our smartphone habits is made humorously clear. “This blasted smartphone! Pesk of productivity. Tenfold plague of beeps and buzzing. . . . Yet also my untiring personal assistant, my irreplaceable travel companion, and my lightning-fast connection to friends and family. . . . This blessed smartphone!” (15). 4. The message of the book is passionate, and not muted by drab truisms. It is sometimes humorous, sometimes serious — but always earnest, with eternity in view. 5. The architecture of the book is ordered by an ancient poetic effect. I won’t give it away, but let me just say: Pay attention as you read. (And if you don’t see it, don’t worry, Reinke will give it away in the end, making the entire content of the book a little more memorable, too.) 6. The book raises a lot of theological and practical questions for personal evaluation. It asks us to think about our smartphone habits in three ways: (1) What is the end and aim of my life? (2) How am I influencing others? (3) Does my phone serve me, or do I serve my phone? 7. The writing style in this book is delightful. Quotable gems like this are scattered on just about every page. 8. The book is thoroughly researched. Over the course of three years, Reinke — an author and the host of the Ask Pastor John podcast — crafted a couple dozen interviews with some of the most influential Christian thinkers. He also read about 50 books on technology and over 1,000 articles on smartphone research, all while keeping his attention focused on the spiritual effects of our habits. 9. The book focuses on eternity. Its goal is simple: to get us “to move from being distracted on purpose to being less and less distracted with an eternal purpose” (52). 10. The book’s tactics are holistic: it appeals to our heads, our hearts, and of course our thumbs. But it is also balanced: it speaks to both digital consumers and digital creators. Do you need intellectual arguments and data and research? Do you need appeals to your longings and answers to your fears? Do you need immediate practical changes to your phone habits? Do you need inspiration to use social media for a strategic purpose? The book has them all. 11. The book is communal. I can see this book being a great one for group discussions with church leaders and small groups, to talk about smartphone behaviors and to brainstorm personal changes for healthy Christian living. 12. Finally, the book’s cover image is epic! As explained in the acknowledgments, the iPhone guy on the cover stands 6-feet-tall and weighs 250 pounds! Designed and cut from hardwood and assembled by a guitar maker. Take up 12 Ways, read it, discuss it, and challenge one another as you pray that God will use this book to change us in profound ways, all for the goal that God will grow more and more glorious to our eyes.