Posted tagged ‘iPhone’

Afraid To Answer My (i)Phone

June 12, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                   June 12, 2018

 

The heat is on! Not the Colorado summer heat, but the political primaries…that kind of heat! 

Last night I flipped between three local TV stations at 5:30 to see the local news. Each station was airing a political advertisement at the same time, but for three different candidates!

When I went outside and got the mail out of the mailbox I had to search between all the political postcards and propaganda to find the car insurance bill. I wonder if State Farm would see that as a valid excuse for not paying my monthly premium- that I couldn’t find it in the midst of all the campaigning candidates’ mail? 

But the worst so far has been the unbelievable number of calls I’m getting on my iPhone. Now, I have to admit that I’m assuming they are political calls, but why else would I be getting calls from Shoreline, Washington; Jamesburg, New Jersey; Pueblo, Colorado; Oklahoma City; East Tawas, Michigan; Newton, Massachusetts; Leota, Minnesota; Portland, Maine; and Oyster Bay, New York.

“No!” to all the questions that are being asked right now by moms! I do not answer the incoming call if I do not recognize the number. 

I’m listening to Amazon Prime Music on my iPhone as I do my morning run and Mercy Me’s song I Can Only Imagine is interrupted by an incoming call from Boynton Beach, Florida!

I’m at my writing spot at the public library, deep into my book rewrite, and someone from Waltham, Massachusetts is trying to get my ear!

And so now I have this fear that an important call is going to be ignored simply because someone wants to convince me of the evils of a certain candidate for office. 

Political callers are the new telemarketers! In the last week out of 27 incoming calls to my phone 3 OF THEM were from people I knew…two from Carol, my wife, and the other from Amy Teten, who we financially support with The Navigators ministry! The other 24 calls were from phone numbers I did not recognize. None of those callers left a message! Perplexing, isn’t it?

I realize the importance of electing the best officials. In fact, I’ll probably take my ballots to the drop-off box at the library today. (Colorado’s primary is June 26!) My voting decisions are based on summaries from neutral publications on the political positions of each of the candidates. 

In the mean time I’ll hear my iPhone ringing in a few calls this morning as I’m running my four miles. They will come just as my pace has increased listening to the song “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. Suddenly I’ll slow down to a turtle’s pace!

Ugh!

The Wisdom of Moderation

January 9, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                              January 9, 2018

                                         

Two of Apple’s largest stockholders are asking the company to help curb the digital addiction of children and youth. A ripple effect of the iPhone’s popularity, as well as SnapChat, texting, Facebook, and other forms of social media, has been the increasing amount of time the younger generation is “hooked” on their digital devices.

At the middle school that I substitute teach and coach at digital devices are part of the educational tool shed. Students are told to get online on their devices and sign in at Google Classroom for the reading assignment or questions to answer as they read. Research gets done at their desk on their iPhone.

Last spring, however, I experienced the other side of the digital addiction age. Several eighth graders focused on their iPhones when they were to be reading a textbook assignment. They attempted to keep their devices hidden from sight, but I wasn’t born yesterday. I recognize that sneaky look from my days of trying to hide cheat sheets in high school Spanish class.

Social media and iPhones are just the latest of a long, long line of products and vices that grow to the point of being obsessions and addictions. The average American teenager receives his/her first iPhone at the age of 10 and spends four and a half hours a day using it, not counting texts and phone calls. Recent research is connecting the risk of teen suicide with the amount of time teens spend using their digital devices. Adolescents who spend several hours a day using their digital devices tend to feel more isolated and depressed. Teens that spend less than two hours a day on their devices tend to be happier.

We should not be surprised at the negative implications of over-consumption. It fits with the scheme of things. A healthy life- physical, spiritual, emotional, mental- has balance to it. An unhealthy life is often out of balance in some way or several ways.

Several years ago I discovered Chinese buffets. I’d go there for lunch and gorge myself. The afternoon was spent feeling lousy, and I added several pounds to my body weight. I finally wised up and swore them off. I now have not been to a Chinese buffet in about ten years and, I don’t want to say it is the only reason but, my cholesterol has dropped.

There’s a great proverbs of Solomon’s that says this, “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.” (Proverbs 25:28)

When we become obsessed we become vulnerable. We see in our culture today that obsessions come in different forms and in various venues. There’s greed, drunkenness, gluttony, sexual addiction, workaholic-ism, laziness, and on and on. Any obsession leads to a “broken wall’ where some kind of enemy or evil can enter in.

Pretty much anything in our life is to be practiced, consumed, or done in moderation. There is wisdom in moderation, and there is usually trouble in excessiveness.

It will be interesting to see how Apple and social media companies respond to the request about digital addiction. Apple may simply see it as a way to develop a new product designed for adolescents. In essence, it could be a new way to make money for them. The real question is what will the social media companies do that rely on consumption, exposure, and screen time to make their profits?

Companies, also, more often than not, have no self-control!

Trusting in Siri

October 18, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      October 18, 2015

                                        

This past week I was traveling from Chicago to my dad’s place located in the southern tip of Ohio. It’s a trip that I did many times when I was in seminary…36 years ago! In 36 years, however, roads change, new configurations of asphalt are created that seek to baffle the wisest.

But I have my iPhone friend, Siri, to lead me and guide me! She shares mileage numbers, how many miles until I come to the next road I’m suppose to turn on to. I even asked her to tell me where the next Cracker Barrel restaurant is.

I put a lot of trust in Siri!

When I arrived on the outskirts of Cincinnati, which must have every road under construction, she navigated me through the maze of I-74 to 275 to 71 to somewhere else. She took me over the river and through the woods to the business district of Cold Spring, Kentucky. I began to doubt as I passed the First Baptist Church of Cold Spring; doubted even more as the speed limit decreased to 35 as the road wound itself past a Waffle House. She took me to Highway AA, which I’ve never heard of. Roads have always been numerically marked in my experience, and now I’m following two capital letters into the dark.

She gave me an arrival time in Proctorville, Ohio, and, by golly, she was right! I followed here directions through hill and dale, past surging coal trucks and lounging late-night drivers.

Siri could have led me into the Ohio River, not over it, if she wanted to. She could have not been current in her understanding and sent me to Virginia instead of briefly passing through West Virginia. She could have been quiet or garbled in her directions, or given an instruction and a few minutes later added a “My mistake!”

I trusted her, even though I’ve only heard her voice.

It occurs to me that my trust in the Lord often doesn’t run as deep as my trust in Siri. I pray for his guidance, I ask for his direction, and yet I’m prone to not follow it. I sing the song “Where He Leads I Will Follow”, but am content to take personal detours that lead me into periods of wilderness wanderings.

Scripture gives me story after story of people who followed the Lord, or heard his voice and didn’t heed his warnings. Scripture tells me of the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It tells me of the hope of the gospel, the perseverance of the saints, the journey of the people of God. I’m reminded again and again that God is faithful, that he will never fail me.

But I exhibit limited trust in the absolutes of the Almighty! If I could figure out why that is I could bottle it and make billions, or travel the country giving over-priced seminars to a multitude of others who have issues following the leadings of the Lord.

But I have a hard time figuring out myself. I’ve got a streak of idiocy within me mixed together with a hint of common sense.

And so…I am continually amazed by grace. Grace is essential for the faith traveler whose strength is getting lost! Grace excuses where there is no excuse.

Grace stays with me even when my trust has exited the highway.