Resource Round-up | Distraction

“The mind will always take on an order conforming to that upon which it concentrates.”

– Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline

This past week, we began examining the second enemy to our spiritual health: Distraction. We defined distraction as the inability to focus on God and others because our attention is taken by less important things. As a church, through our “Personal Liturgy” challenges, we are taking daily steps to fight distraction in our lives. We specifically looked at the ways our technology addictions are preventing us from focusing on God and the people He has placed in our lives. Here are a few additional resources we’d recommend if you’d like to dig deeper into the topic of technology distraction.  

Book: The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place by Andy Crouch

Drawing on in-depth original research from the Barna Group, Crouch shows readers that the choices we make about technology have consequences we may never have considered. Drawing from his own family’s experience and fight to put technology in its proper place, Crouch offers much guidance for families (and individuals) seeking to reclaim their real life in a world of devices. 

Article: Ruling Over Screens Crouching at our Door by Lore Ferguson Wilbert

In this article, Wilbert shares she and her husband’s approach and practical steps for putting screens in their proper place. 

Book: 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

Drawing from the insights of numerous thinkers, published studies, and his own research, Reinke identifies twelve ways our smartphones have changed us—for good and bad. Reinke looks at the positive sides of technology and how God uses it to advance His purposes, while also looking at the potentially harmful effects overuse can have. 

Article: I Used to Be a Human Being by Andrew Sullivan

Written from a non-Christian perspective, this article is a jarring piece on what the pace of distractions in modern life does to us. After 15 years of being addicted to the internet and social media, Sullivan reflects on his decision and journey to “quit the web and live in reality.”

Article: 6 Wrong Reasons to Check Your Phone in the Morning by Tony Reinke

Senior Writer for and author of 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, writes a helpful piece examining why our mornings matter for the quality of our days and spiritual health. In collaboration with John Piper, the article contains insight into the unhealthy ways we can turn to our phones. 

Article: How Giving up TV for a Month Changed my Brain and my Life by Stephanie Vozza

Written from a non-Christian perspective, Vozza recounts what happened after going cold-turkey on TV. She thought it would be easy, and it wasn’t. But the end result surprised her greatly. 

Resource: Time Well Spent

Tristan Harris, a former product manager at Google, has started a non-profit to help people be more proactive about the way technology invades their lives. This site has lots of information and ideas, with the basic premise that we can’t expect tech companies to change and make their products less addicting, so we have to be the ones to change how we interact with them. His Ted Talk on the topic as well as various news clips and articles can all be found on this site.