Quick Book Review: 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You

Me being the true millennial like I am, I think it’s fair to say that my phone gets a lot of use throughout the day. From reading emails in the morning to browsing Hacker News and Reddit in the evening, I dread to think how many times I would pick up my phone during the day to check for updates.

The truth is, whether we are prepared to admit this or not, smartphone addiction is a problem and this can have serious implications on our relationships and spiritual wellbeing if it is not managed properly.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, is a Christian book written by Tony Reinke and helps address this problem by putting into context how dependent we are on our smartphones and why this can be a problem.

I’ve actually this before back in 2019 but felt compelled to read it again in light of recent advancements in AI and technology in general.

Often when we talk about smartphone addiction, we naturally lead onto a discussion about social media, however this book keeps thing broad and discusses our general smartphone usage.

It draws upon how our smartphone usage (if not managed correctly) can disrupt our spiritual life, impact our witness and, though the overuse of social media, can actually make us more disconnected as a result. Furthermore, it also features some dire warnings if we continue to feed into the algorithmically-curated information presented to us on our screens.

As a result, Christians need to pay particular attention to how our smartphone habits are leading us down certain rabbit holes and away from God.

That being said, I do feel that this book does have an overly negative view on smartphones and technology in general. To put a slightly positive spin on this, I do believe that smartphones do have some benefit for Christians.

For example, as I write this, I’m currently in the process of preparing a sermon where I have used my phone to listen to other sermons (using the fantastic SermonAudio app), prepare notes in my Bible app and listen to interesting podcasts.