Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 22:64 (Spring 2018)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017. 224 pp., paper, $14.89.

Tony Reinke sought to answer the question, “What is the best use of my smartphone in the flourishing of my life?” (p. 20). Few questions are more pertinent in an age obsessed with technology in general and the smartphone in particular. While the smartphone was invented barely a decade ago (p. 15), one is now owned by most people and is checked on average every 4.3 minutes (p. 43). Reinke appreciates the valuable tool that the smartphone has become but, at the same time, recognizes the dangers. As a result, highlighting useful components of smartphone use, each of the twelve chapters focuses upon a unique danger. Some of the more serious dangers include: smartphone addiction, distractions, increased loneliness and isolation, living vicariously, illiteracy due to short attention spans, misplaced hero worship, seeking approval of people rather than God, wasting time, online slander, and secret vices.

Reinke does not recommend abandoning use of smartphones, as least not for most people, but he does call on his readers to courageously ask themselves three questions regarding ends, influence, and servitude. First, do smartphone behaviors move one toward God or from Him? Second, do smartphone behaviors edify self and others or do they build nothing of lasting value? Lastly, do smartphone behaviors expose freedom in Christ or bondage to technique (p. 194)?

In conjunction with these questions, he added twelve more: What does a smartphone cost per year if adding the price of the device, insurance protection, covers and cases, and monthly service? Does one need mobile web access to fulfill God’s calling in vocation or ministry? Is texting essential to care for others? Do texts need to be seen in real time, and is the smartphone the only way to do it? Does one need mobile web access to legitimately serve others? Does one need mobile web access to navigate unfamiliar cities? Is the device an essential part of travels? Does one need a smartphone to take advantage of coupons in stores? How much money would be saved instead without a smartphone data plan? Can web access wait? Is the convenience of mobile web access something that one can functionally replace with structured time at a laptop or desktop computer later? Can one function just as well with a dumbphone, a WiFi hotspot, an iPod, or a tablet? Can one listen to audio and podcasts in other ways (through an iPod, for example)? Is it possible simply to become

addicted to a smartphone? If so, can the problem be solved with moderation, or would it better to abstain entirely? Do the mobile lures of a smartphon...

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