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Smart Phones, Nomophobia, & Relevant

Relevant Magazine just weighed in on the issue of smart phones. The psychological term they discuss is nomophobia. Here’s the start of the article by Adam Jeske:   My name is Adam. And I am a recovering nomophobe. Nomophobia is the fear of being disconnected, of being without your device,…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Relevant Magazine just weighed in on the issue of smart phones. The psychological term they discuss is nomophobia. Here’s the start of the article by Adam Jeske:


My name is Adam. And I am a recovering nomophobe.

Nomophobia is the fear of being disconnected, of being without your device, as in the fear of “no mobile phone.” Today, we relish and crave our constant connectivity. If we don’t have our favorite devices nearby, we start to flip out in lots of tiny ways.

If you know what I’m talking about, you likely suffer from nomophobia.

We recognize the issue intuitively. And now, research is starting to paint a startling picture of our problem.

Our Problem

A study in Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma says social media withdrawal closely resembles that of a drug addict crashing back down to earth, revealing that many of us respond more quickly to notifications from Facebook than to traffic signs.

You may also have heard that being connected all the time is bad for sleep. Too much blue light from our phones before bed can disrupt our sleep, according to research by Brian Zoltowski of Southern Methodist University. And the cumulative effect of poor sleep is terrible for our health.

According to Social Times, 18 percent of us admit we now can’t go more than just a few hours without checking Facebook. (And how many of us don’t admit it?)

When we’re separated from our phones, “we experience a lessening of ‘self’ and a negative physiological state,” according a study done by Russell Clayton of the University of Missouri. 

While we generally no longer make idols out of gold or wood, sometimes our connectivity interferes with our communion. 

As I use social media (it’s even part of my job and ministry), I know that Christians need to tread carefully here. We need to ask ourselves important questions.

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/tech/what-connectedness-doing-us#imLx61HMtI6qdPbW.99

Comments (7)

  • Seth,

    Citing studies with out showing facts is dangerous. Statics show 78% of all published studies are misrepresntjng the facts.

    It’s also disappointing that we continue to create labels for regular things. Kids who don’t enjoy sitting in a desk for 7 hours a day listening to their teacher have ADD and should be medicated. Now people who use their phone too much have Nomophobia. Perhaps we should medicate them because their behavior is out of their control.

    Excuse my cynisism, but doesn’t this world have enough excuses and misinformation. Perhaps we should just focus on leading, as in demonstrating good usage in stead of focusing on demonizong it. If your having trouble convincing young people that their usage is excess then perhaps you should spend more time engaging them and building trust and less time looking up studies to back your view points.


  • Mike,

    Maybe stop being a bully and work on your spelling and grammar. Obviously, you have high expectations of leadership, you should. Why don’t you have a grown up conversation in person with Seth?

    Gandhi was a good leader; maybe you’ll like him better. Take his advice, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”


  • Esther,

    I can only assume that I’ve personally offended you, for which I apologize. Although your response seems a bit disproportionate. If questioning a person’s beliefs or leaders provokes so much than perhaps there is something worth revisiting. In my experience those who have solid beliefs and leadership don’t get defensive. Furthermore any leader who doesn’t allow or can’t handle questions isn’t worth following. I’ve experienced it and had to reflection on my own leadership at times.

    I have no desire to meet Seth or have a conversation. I’m more concerned with offering counterpoints that might enlighten others. My experience with the some of beliefs held by Adventures In Missions and propagated through this blog (and the World Race) is that they are misleading and problematic. Therefor I feel lead to offer counterpoints for the consideration of those seeking truth.

    “Be the change the change you want to see in the world.” Indeed I should do more Esther, you are right.

    I’ve only done things in small ways. I’ve spoke with a number of World Racers who agree with my sentiments, discussing how to heal from the bad experiences and what we can learn. I have reached out those who are disillusioned and feel mislead by Adventures in Missions. You see after Seth’s heart felt apologies those people still face a process of healing, finding their beliefs and rebuilding their lives. It’s sad when you speak with people who felt the race was a setback in their lives.

    I hope Esther you can see people’s lives and faith are impacted by spiritual leadership. Which is why I believe we must be careful of what we teach. Even Paul talks about apostles and teachers being held to a higher standard. So yes I do have high standards for the people who desire to be spiritual leaders.

    Admittedly you have given me pause and reason to reflect. Perhaps I’ve gone terribly awry in posting here and become a “bully” and yet I wonder if perhaps I’m the willing antagonist pointing to the elephant in the room. Or even potentially both.


  • Mike,

    I don’t find my response disproportionate, the fact you think so makes me question your self-awareness especially with your multiple abrasive comments. I personally think you want to pick a fight because you have been disappointed. You want people to feel the same hurt you feel, primarily Seth Barnes.

    You have not offended me, but you have made me angry. I haven’t seen you once own your choice in the matter. No one forced you on the Race and no one made you stay. You chose it and you stayed. But then again, I don’t know, maybe you got sent home!

    Your arguments are what I hear so many people in my generation (I’m assuming we are in the same) use. “They failed me, now I’m wounded and it’s all their fault!” People in our generation struggle to own their own life so they submit to authority hoping they will tell them what to do. But, no matter what, leadership will fail. Leaders are not equivalent to God and ultimately God is your authority, if that is what you believe. If it’s not, then you are Mike. You are in charge of you and you have the power to take yourself to whatever distances or sulk in a corner criticizing everyone’s life but your own.

    I have never been in, pursued, nor accepted a leadership position, primarily because of the expectations of people like you. I don’t want to be watched and I don’t want to be judged. My expectations for myself are too high and it’s hard enough to lead myself let alone a group of people. I work daily on not being defensive because I naturally am and HATE that about myself, but amongst orphans, widows, and the helpless I will GLADLY defend the wrongfully accused. No one is a punching bag no matter what they have done or failed to do.

    I’ll empathize with you on many issues of leadership on the Race. There was much done that I didn’t agree with on my Race experience one of them being the overuse/abuse of technology. It is frustrating to see leaders abuse their power. I fear if I was in their position I’d do the same, so I don’t want to even risk it. My Race was hard; I prayed to get sent home on a regular basis. But, at the end of the day I chose it and I stayed. I could go even more in depth with my experience with AIM, but some of it is precious to me and I’d rather not give you the opportunity to demoralize it.

    However, defiance is ineffective and only makes a spectacle of the defiant. You are making a spectacle of yourself Mike and I recommend you reconsider your tact.

    There are elements of your argument worth hearing and should be heard. People have obviously expressed that throughout their responses to your comments. But, your ego, your pride and your anger have made you impermeable to any form of conversation or reconciliation. So, unless you want to help bring a change to the things you so aggressively despise about AIM leadership and their decisions for future Racers, go join the group that thinks AIM is a cult and sulk! Here’s their site: http://www.solasisters.com/

  • Mike,

    I am interested in having further conversations with you in an objective manner. I will not, however, blindly continue into conversations back and forth on this platform. It seems you have plenty of opportunity and people willing to do that. If it goes any further I feel like it will only bleed into a defensiveness fest with no actual fruit.

    However, if you actually want to see some change happen. And work through some of this stuff, I’ll be glad to be an intermediary in this conflict and distress to help bring about reconciliation. It doesn’t serve AIM, yourself, or more importantly the Kingdom to go on in dispute any further in the public forum without some sort of direct conversation as well. If I do not hear from you, I will believe that you think it either hopeless or don’t want it.

    I pray for all of us that we grow to make the Race and our lives more God honoring driven by an understanding that He is indeed a good Father who loves us. Jesus says that they will know we are His disciples by the way we love one another. I don’t see how continuing this conversation ONLY in this format and not in person(or at least directly) will show the world that we love one another and for that reason this will be my last response on here without hearing anything from you in private.

    I look forward to hearing from you and working together to bring reconciliation and more of Jesus to this world.

    [email protected] or [email protected]

Comments are closed.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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