rebelling against low expectations

Busy Signal(s): Cell-ing Our Souls


“In case you were, I don’t know, too busy text-messaging to notice, Americans today are looking to use their cell phones for a lot more than just phoning people.”

— Dave Wischnowsky, Enter The Mind of a Teen, June 21, 2006

Cell Phone, Help Me Cheat On My Test

According to recent Siemens Communications Inc. survey many Americans want their cell phones to not only serve as their phone, but also as their MP3 & video player, gaming console, digital camera, and email service.

Not only that, but phone companies are quickly learning that one of their largest markets — teenagers — want even more than that.

“Especially among younger people, it appears that customers are ahead of cell phone companies in devising new applications,” says an unnamed Siemens Communications spokesman.

But what kind of new features are teenagers across the country clamoring for? That was the question intended to answer by conducting interviews with dozens of teens across the country.

“We decided a little man-on-the-street follow-up was necessary to confirm that teens want new cell phone features,” said columnist, George Simpson.

The answers offered not only a surprising array of farfetched features, but also a disheartening window into the mind of the American teen — full of obvious intent to use technology to aid and abet irresponsibility, rebellion against parental authority, and in several instances, crime itself (see below).

Seventeen-year-old, Rye, New York:“I want an auto-redial feature that leaves a voice mail that says, ‘I am so NOT talking to you right now.’ That would be a real time-saver.”

Eighteen-year-old from Garden City, New York: “I wish I could put my cell on the dashboard and have it give me a ringtone like ‘I Shot the Sheriff’ when I hit a radar zone.”

Fifteen-year-old from Calabasas, California: “I’d like to be able to scan in exam questions so I can text them to my friends in the library. My thumbs get really tired having to manually enter them now.”

Fifteen-year-old from Hartford, Conneticut: “I want a cell phone that will tell me if surveillance cameras in the mall are fixed on me. That’d be a big help.”

Nineteen-year-old, Park City, Utah: “I want a countdown bar, like the battery indicator, that tells me when I am running out of ‘anytime’ minutes and I’ll have to pay back my Dad for the calls that go over the plan.”

Fourteen-year-old, Lexington, Virginia: “I want built-in text copy that I can insert into messages with real phrases like “Oh, my god!”; “So totally”; “She is SUCH a [bleep]”; and “Promise me you won’t tell anyone else, but…”

Fifteen-year-old, Chicago: “I want a phone that has different background noises, like crowds at a football game or class period change bells that you can switch on, so my parents won’t know where I really am when they call.”

Eighteen-year-old, Miami: “I want a wire extension that projects my cell screen on my glasses so I can play ‘Bejeweled’ without looking down during Earth Science. Man, that class really sucks. And I know that fascist teacher totally hates me.”

Fifteen-year-old from New Canaan, Conneticut: “I want a voice filter that makes it sound like I’m sober when I call my parents.”

Sixteen-year-old from Houston: “I need to be able to block my ex-boyfriend’s text and voice calls. He is driving me crazy. You know I tol’ him it was O-Vah, but he don’t listen.”

At School: The New “Mosquito” Ring Tone

Even without these crazy features cell phone use is becoming a big problem in government schools for both high school and middle school age-groups — so much so that schools are having to impose strict policies regarding cell phone use on school property.

“Most public schools have strict policies regarding cell phones at school,” says Greg Taillon in his article, “Cell Phones For Kids?” on Preteenagers Today, “I found out that some instructors will deduct up to 5 percent of a child’s grade for a ringing cell phone in the classroom.”

Regardless of school policies, Mr. Taillon estimates that up to 75 percent of middle school children have their own cell phone, with this percentage rising in the high school years.

Not only that, but many teens are finding ways around rules against cell phone use in the classroom — most notably by utilizing a high-pitched ring tone that teens can hear but most adults can’t due to the natural loss of hearing sensitivity as a person ages.

“When I heard about it I didn’t believe it at first,” said Donna Lewis, a technology teacher at the Trinity School in Manhattan in an article in the New York Times. “But one of the kids gave me a copy, and I sent it to a colleague. She played it for her first graders. All of them could hear it, and neither she nor I could.”

The high-pitched buzz was originally created to annoy teenagers that tried to congregate in malls while not disturbing adult shoppers. The plan has backfired due to an ingenious coup by modern teenagers, but it is highly unfortunate we can’t find something better to do.

Nevertheless, Alex and I encourage you to make the ring tone a family science lesson and compare the ability of different family-members to hear the sound. You can download an MP3 by clicking here. After your done, study this pitch chart, made available by

Text-Messaging: U Could B Dumber 4 It
Teenage America’s obsession with their cell phones, especially with popular text-messaging, could be damaging our IQ’s, according to a recent study conducted by King’s College London.

The study of 1,100 adults found their intelligence declined as tasks were interrupted by incoming e-mails and text messages. The average reduction of 10 IQ points, though temporary, is more than double the four-point loss associated with smoking marijuana.

“Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached ‘startling’ levels in the trials by 1,100 people,” writes Martin Wainwright with Guardian Unlimited. It seems that constant interruptions not only damages productivity, but also wears the mind down with constant questions and challenges on often unrelated topics.

According to the, the effect on those who tried to juggle new messages with existing work was the equivalent, over a day, to the loss of a entire night’s sleep.

Mike Salman, chief executive officer of All Star Wireless Communications said that he couldn’t address the issue of falling smarts. But he did say that most of his young clientele come to his shop seeking cell phones for texting, not talking.

“It’s the first question they ask,” Salman said, “whether or not a certain phone is good for text messaging or e-mail. And honestly, I’d say more than half of the people who come to me don’t even ask about phones for talking on them.”

Email Is, Like, So Yesterday

As yet another indication that our desire for instant gratification has reached a crisis-stage, email is being neglected in favor of the more “instant” alternative: text-messaging.

“It’s too complicated to send e-mail,” explains 14-year-old Jennica Paho of San Jose, “I have to go in and type it, and send it, then wait for a reply.”

Ironically, many arguments that were once made in favor of email are now being used against it. In his interview with, Alex Stikeleather, 17, of Palo Alto, argues that “e-mail is more like snail mail.”

With text-messaging and instant messaging on the rise many employers are becoming concerned because their younger employees are instant-messaging while at work.

“It’s an issue lots of employers are having to deal with,” says Michael Wood, vice-president of Teen Research Unlimited in Chicago, “The concept of always staying connected with their friends — they’re going to take that with them” as they grow older.

Many teenagers spend hours each day “texting” and “IMing” their many friends. Haggai Dziesietnik, a senior at a California high school says he sends and receives about 280 text messages a day, but in one three-day weekend at Tahoe he logged about 4,000.

“The more friends you have, the more cool you are,” says Aston Carney, 11, from San Jose, and most students it seems believe that technology is the best way to make and keep those friends.

What Do You Think?

As always, our goal is not just to provide information but also to encourage thoughtful discussion. Here’s a few questions to get us started:

  • How do we guard ourselves from using technology as a way to get away with sin, instead of as a tool to glorify God?
  • What are your thoughts on our generation’s obsession with text-messaging and IMing?
  • How much have you noticed “texting” among your own group of friends and acquaintances? How much do you do it?
  • Where do you think the balance is between using technology to be more effective for God and wasting time, and possibly, energy and brain cells?
  • How do you think technology is changing the definition of “friendship” among young people today?

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Thank you so much for your post on cell phones. I have totally noticed the insane use of them among my peers and it really gets on my nerves. I have a pre-paid cell phone that has texting on it, and I must admit, I do like to text. I honestly don’t think that it would get addicting for me, because most of my friends don’t have a cell phone. Technology is a great tool, when used for the right reasons. I personally love e-mail, it’s so much easier to express myself through writing than talking on the phone.

    However, the use of cell phones has gone to an extreme. The main reason I have mine is in case I have to call my mom when I’m out with friends. Texting and cell phones has definetly changed the definition of ‘friendship’. Just because you have a person on an address list and occasionaly text them doesn’t mean they’re a true friend. That’s just my opinion though.

    Anyway, thanks so much for this post, it really made me think. In fact, thanks for the whole website, I really like it!

  • How do you think technology is changing the definition of “friendship” among young people today?

    I’ve found technology, like IMing, to often deepen friendships much faster than in real life. You can be open and have conversations that are sometimes hard to have face to face, especially for shy people. You can proofread. You can change what you want to say before you say it.

    Because I’ve taken so many distance learning classes, I literally have friends all over the US. Most I have never seen and mainly know through IM. Last week I got to meet one of my best friends face to face for the first time! It was very cool!

    But like warned in other comments, it can be very addicting and quickly become sinful for someone. Kind of like a sharp knife–handy but deadly. Parents are great for accountability even when you don’t ask. 🙂

    All this to say I think I’m more on the unusual side. “Friendship” in general today is more like my definition of “acquaintance.” So for it to form on IM, when many don’t go beyond the “I went shopping and fed my dog today” conversations, is probably more harmful than beneficial.

  • I would like a cell phone that does what its supposed to do: one that just makes phone calls. Its nice that technology allows us to fit a thousand extra things on a phone like texting, wireless internet and such, but its terribly annoying (and distractingly addictive).

    When did I figure out text messaging became too much? When I caught myself texting people from work just because I was bored. So, my work suffered because I wasn’t paying attention.

    As for technology in general, I almost feel like my life is being run by it. Everyone I know, including myself, is obsessed with being on or around a computer or a computer-run device.

    Computer related communication is nice for those who live long distances away from each other. But when you’re instant messaging or texting a person who is your next door neighbor–or even your college roommate who’s sitting 3 feet away (and yes, I’ve seen this happen)– its simply ridiculous. I’m noticing a serious lack in face to face, honest conversation. My grocery market even went as far recently to put in a self check out computer system so that the customer can “quickly” check out without having to speak to a cashier.

    Technology is a wonderful thing. But the question really is—Is our generation currently absuing the power of advanced technology or are we using it in order to aim for a better future? I think we could all do some really great things which would benefit the future of this planet, but I fear that not everyone will see that in time.

  • Excellent post, guys. Overall it’s pretty sombering, but I had to laugh at this paragraph:

    “It’s too complicated to send e-mail,” explains 14-year-old Jennica Paho of San Jose, “I have to go in and type it, and send it, then wait for a reply.”

  • good post. my dad got me a cell for working but he didn’t pay for txt messaging for me. If it is iportant my friends can call me otheriwse e-mail me and i’ll reply within a few hours. Im’ing can be very addicting though. And it can be very bad if you use it for the wrong purposes, like anything else. I had it but when I was starting to be on it for 3-4 hrs a day it wasn’t good…so I stopped talking to anyone but family members.

  • It is annoying to be with someone who is conversing with someone who is not even in the room.

    Cell phones are a great tool, but they are being used too much. It is a good thing to have some space from your friends, so that you can appreciate time spent with them and focus on them when you are with them.

    I think technology does affect friendship. I appreciate receiving a letter more than an e-mail simply because I know they took the time to choose the stationary, write the letter, address it, put a stamp on it, and send it. It shows that they care.

    I do not have any experience with having a personal cell phone, texting, or IMing, but I think its misuse depends on the person. Some people may be able to use it wisely and with self-control. Others should be removed from the source of addiction. It depends on their priorities.

  • This is perfect timing because I just got a cell phone a week ago. People asked if they could text me and I said I wasn’t sure that I wanted to. Then they all said it was very addicting and they would send hundreds a day! Someone was saying that they weren’t sure if 10,000 text messages was enough every month. I was shocked and said I definitely didn’t want any messages unless necessary because I really don’t want to be addicted. Thanks so much for that post. I love your site!

  • Cell phones seem to be taking over! I have one, but it’s prepaid and only for emergencies. I think it’s good for teenagers to have them if they need to work, and drive alone at night, go out with friends a lot, etc, but not to have attached to our ear. Thank you for your post!

  • Like many things, technology is not in and of itself bad, but it can be abused, and in this case, addicting. Let me see if I can intelligently answer some of these questions.

    “How do we guard ourselves from using technology as a way to get away with sin, instead of as a tool to glorify God?”

    I think this is something that each person has to decide for himself. Since technology only becomes a problem when misused, this is a heart issue that is very individualistic. In other words, if you have a problem, you may need to do something radical as a cure — like only using the phone in emergencies. But if you don’t have a problem, just keep yourself from having one, and more power to you.

    “How do you think technology is changing the definition of “friendship” among young people today?”

    Well, you could argue this both ways. On one hand, friendship seems unchanged; a true friend still stands by you in hard times, most “friends” are just chatter-mates you wouldn’t trust with much. But on the other hand, technology has made everything so fast and easy, one wonders if “friendship” has not also been affected. People seem to spend more time talking to their many friends from school or church or work than ever before. Has the push-botton mind set affected relationships? Maybe. What do the other readers think?

  • In one way, ubiquitous cell phone use decreases responsible independency: if you’re always asking someone else’s opinion, you won’t make judgment calls on your own.

    I don’t use a cell phone, although my parents do. I’ve never had txting; I ran the IM run-around the last year I did debate, mostly to communicate with my partner who lived too far away to visit often. It became addicting, and I’m glad to leave it alone (as I’m sure you are too, Brett). Lonely people use IM like they do email to look for affirmation and companionship; they don’t really want to give it unless it is necessary for the above goal, or to imitate the manners of others. The other time I’ve used it was when I spent a month teaching English in China, and welcomed real-time conversations with someone familiar (my family and a couple friends).

    Forums (or should it be fora?) are useful when limited by subject matter. HSD is fine while you are competing in the league, as long as you keep a Christian spirit. To incessantly te controversy corners turns is a distortion of the perspective of the original forum… which was to facilitate preparation for speaking, not an end in itself.

    However, the main danger of discoursing with unbelievers (or those like them) on matters of moral significance is not that you will assimilate ungodly ideas, although that does happen. The first and main danger is of tracing ungodly patterns of speech and heart. The ideas can be resisted by willpower and bullying. The attitudes are created by willpower and bullying. You can’t win as long as these are your constant companions. The same thing goes for friends met in other conTEXTs. “…[Y]ou may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Prov. 22:25)

    Other purposes for communication make online messaging useful. My dad uses a Cabinet Makers Association forum to exchange tips for woodworking.

    The advantage of letter-writing comes from having more time to think of what to say, learning to ask important questions, anticipating needs, and putting more thought into the words.
    Read the diary of John Quincy Adams and the letters among his family while he was in his teens.

  • I don’t know what to make of this post, because technology is great and I don’t think I have anything against cell phones, but teens are irresponsible, and I don’t think taking away their cell phones and/or texting abilities will make them any more mature.

    Smartening them up has nothing to do with modifications in technology, so complaining about cell phones and texting really is pointless because it’s definitely not going to go away.

    But you did raise some good points. I love being on the train with some friends, looking beside me to see one of them being completely anti-social to the rest of the group, texting away to some other friends or her boyfriend. Very annoying.

  • Like many of the readers here, I’ve know that a lot of young people I know text message all the time. Maybe for some people that is a great thing and a good way to build relationships.

    However, I find it very frustrating to try and talk to someone who is typing a conversation with someone else while trying to talk to me. I find that a lot of this texting happens during class when we’re supposedly to be listening to the prof. Personally, I’ve sent maybe two text messages ever mostly because it costs money.

    I do think that technology changes friendships. I did IM for a while, but it quickly became like too much sugar–sickening. For reasons I don’t understand, deep, thoughtful conversations mostly didn’t occur for me on IM. I made the mistake of IMing one friend and email so much that I think it had a negative effect on our friendship.

    With a couple of my friends now, I don’t even want to give them my email because I feel that might ruin our relationship. I don’t IM. Call me. Talk to me. Take the time.

    I don’t think technology is inherently evil, but there’s something to be said for in person relationships. Granted, that isn’t always possible. The other problem with email and text messaging is the ease with which a person can misrepresent themselves. The way a person seems on email is a lot different than in person. In email, I can edit my sentences until they’re perfect. The other person might never hear a “gut” response of me. What I am really like? Who knows?

    As I say this, I’m aware that I’m posting a comment on a blog, and that I will check this post over for mistakes before publishing. But, I’m not depending on this blog as the sole source of my relationships. It’s a tool for discussion and information.

  • These were all great questions…but this one especially struck me:

    “Where do you think the balance is between using technology to be more effective for God and wasting time, and possibly, energy and brain cells?”

    Whatever we do should be done to glorify God. So the question to ask, it seems to me, when determining whether it is “effective for God” or whether it’s a time-waster is to simply ask: “Does this action glorify God?” (Or put more simply: “will this make my Lord smile, and make Him look bigger to those around me?”).

  • I think that all this advanced communication technology is a blessing. I think its great to have digital everything. All the more responsibilities you have to uphold.

  • I have to say I really appreciate technology. The convenience of writing an email, making a quick call while on the go, the ability to create a blog that can encourage hundreds, the ease of reading it nomatter where you are–all these are things that I am very grateful for. But like everything else, technology can be misused, and it is perhaps easier to do that now than ever before.

    I have never used text messaging, (I don’t own a cell phone) and I rarely use IM anymore because I’ve found that (with exceptions) it is so prone to promote mindless chatting. Too often it is a relationship and popularity game, full of cool catch-phrases and artificial personallity that is devoid of any real meaning.

    I think cell phones, and text messaging in perticular have definitely created new vulnerabilities for people, especially teenagers, in that they can take their popularity games and fake, or harmful, relationships with them wherever they go now. But

    As Christians, we have great liberty within the boundaries of God’s law. We can own cell phones, computers, have internet access and even IM and text messaging, as long as we use them wisely. The purpose of everything we do shold be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and there are difinitely ways that technology can help us to do that. 😀

  • Thanks for the reminder!
    That is precisely what teenagers need to hear these days.
    Here in the Philippines, everyone has a cellphone. Even little kids, starting ages 7-8 have cellphones. And everywhere I go, I see someone holding a cellphone.
    Even if I have my own cellphone, I don’t generally text millions of people everyday – parents’ rules (and a good thing too! :)).

    I believe teenagers are too addicted to texting and IMing. Our pastor asked two Sundays ago, “What do you touch first thing in the morning – your Bible or your cellphone?” You see, most of the teenagers register for the “unlimited promo” (which allows them to text their friends for 24 hours with no end).

    And teenagers today confuse the term “textmate” with “friend.” Especially here…where dialing a random number is so common.

    I do hope teenagers will see what the “dangers” of technology before it is too late.

  • My dad was talking about the new mosquito ring tone yesterday. Wow! Our family is not as hooked up as most families. We only have one desk top computer, one cell phone, (dad has a work cell phone and a lap top, but we don’t count them because they are for work only) and we haven’t ever done a text message. I just got an iPod and my dad was given one for a door prize last week at a work meeting. So I suppose you could say we are a bit behind the times. Which may not be a bad thing.

  • I am currently living in Japan and cell phones with text messaging have become a necessary part of life here. They are something that you need not something that you get if you feel like it. To have lack a cell phone here is like not having electricity in the States. They are pretty much the exclusive method of communication here if you don’t have one people can not and will not contact you, ever.

    I have a feeling that this trend will move to the U.S. in the near future. Land lines and email will go the way of the fax machine and the telegraph.

    I’m saying all of this not to detract from any of you points but rather to point out that the advance of mobiles is likely inevitable.

  • I’m glad I don’t have a lot of friends (wait, ANY friends, lol) that have a phone. My biggest problem is learning to conserve my 300-minute-a-month plan that my dad unofficially made for me. There was a time I used over 930. . . .YIKES. But yeah, I hardly ever text with it. I’ve only done it like twice. I myself am a BIG techy. I LOVE computers, Palms, the Moterola Razr. . .ooohhh. But I DO think that technology has its place, and if used improperly, it needs to be stopped. I think it’s CRAZY that college roommates text when they’re 3 FEET AWAY!! For cryin’ out loud people, did you lose your speaking skills????? If you’re THAT embarrassed to talk to your roommate, then find another one. Technology has so integrated itself (or maybe we’ve let it) into our society that a lot of times we’re FORCED to use it or we can’t get jobs done right. But people need to see that it’s not a voicebox subsitute. Just think of it, people getting their vocal cords replaced by a text-enabled phone! lol, not cool.

  • Yeah… technology has totally taken over the entire US. It’s like… we can’t even have a conversation anymore without the new whatever. I’ve never been a big techy, so not only is it hard for me to keep up with what people are talking about, but it gets really annoying after a very short time. By the timeI’d caught up with cell phones (but they still haven’t got me to get one yet) it was texting, and now your friends have cameras on their phones so that they can take pictures of you at the most inoppurtune moments and text them to the whole world!

    I think we as a generation need to take a step back and try to find what’s really important. Sure, texting and IM’ing is fun, but it can, and probably will, be taken out in one swift world wide power loss, or something, and then where will America’s youth be? We certainly won’t be hearing from anyone for a long time, I can bet you that!

  • Cells are definitely a tool, but it’s how we use them that makes a difference. Whether it is for a good purpose like; contact with parents, casually chatting, or contacting authorities during an emergency.

    Or a ridiculous purpose like; incessant texting (that completely zones you out from the real world, and real conversations) constant chattering and spreading of gossip.

    Communication is very important, and sometimes texting can change a relationship because talking is no longer required. We are constantly finding out what is happening from each other every minute of every day that we are neglecting those things which are true and important in life.

    I have a cell, but i don’t use it as a replacement for dealing with real life.

  • I think that they need to make a rule to ban cell phone in ALL school’s all over the world, I love the mosquito ringtone because When i am in the mall orsomething and my phone rings it doesn;t let everyone stare at me, just very few people realize my phone is ringing, but I think that they need to just ban cell phones all together, and maybe when technology advanses more then we could start putting security walk throughs in all schools, liek airports, and they can detect for cell phones, lol

    (btw, Alex and Brett, you guys are awsome for starting this website!)

  • A major problem I have with this article is that you are primarily citing references from Silicon Valley sources and people and then spinning citations from other sources. So what is people want phones for texting more than talking? How does that show anything?

    In Silicon Valley (San Jose, Palo Alto, Mt. View, etc., in California), we are the exception to the amount of time spent on phones and texting people. We are the technological leaders of the world. Most places are not like this. Yet you represent our usage as being the norm. It’s not. In fact, that one young person who texts up to 280 times per day is not even the norm for this area. You have taken the extreme users in an already-extreme area and chosen to use those as representatives on America as a whole. You may not like cell phones, but to spin a story like this is a lie.

    Have you never stopped to think about the good cell phones have caused? Or do you think technology as a whole is getting in the way of our communication? You can choose to live your life without it, and see if you can get someone to take your paper letters to family 3,000 miles away on horseback if you want, have LESS communication, or you can stop trying to convince people that they will be stupider for using it.

    Yes, they can be irritating when they go off in a class (in which case the school should ismply ban phones and take away any that do ring for the rest of the school year) and in restaurants, but we have freedom for a reason. If you think we should all live our lives by your rules so that you are not annoyed, you need to stop being so self-centered.

  • yeah..i completely agree with this person. this is retarded..all u want to do is judge! and you say not to do this and not to do that, but you’re complaining while you’re talking about. i mean yes..texting can be distracting, and i personally don’t have a cellphone but this still offends me. a lot of this stuff offends me..i don’t agree with it..

  • There was a time when people in the same community lived in very close proximity of each other, worked together, and protected each other from outsiders. They were not literate but enjoyed talking to each other very much so about family, the harvest, the spirits/gods/nature, and the crazy tribes that lived not too far away. In fact the most prominent man in the village was the one who could speak the loudest, the best and made the most sense. The tribe down the way look upon these barbarians as illiterate oafs since they did not spend their time reading and writing. Rather than talking to friends and family they were more interested in what a philosopher said nearly 200 years prior and how that will ennoble his character and make him better than those around him. He began to amass these writings and spent all day reading, away from his family and friends. He then began to teach others that if they would become just like him they would be much better than the tribe down the way, a tribe that only talked to each other. Many, many years later the literate tribe eradicated the oral tribe and mandated all members of the tribe to spend as much time reading and writing rather than communing with friends and family. Not too long after that, spaces were designated for each member to work in, the cube of endless labor, where no one could see anyone else accept only at designated times where they would come out and feed. The member were made to do meaningless tasks after being ripped from his family and spending 12 years in a industrial processing mill where they had to be separated from family and friends so that they could churn out what was required of them for the tribal association mandated tests. Four more years were spent doing even more meaningless work to prepare them for cubical life. This process continued for many, many years. One day, a man was fed up with all of this nonsense, and wanted to return to having a meaningful relationship with his family. Unfortunately, his family had been scattered all throughout the land and he could not contact them efficiently. He devised a small portable family communication device that would allow people to stay in contact with friends and family to see how their lives in the cube of endless labor was. This device caught on and spread like wildfire since people wanted to talk more than sit around doing meaningless work for someone they did not even know. But then, there was a band of sophists that came around and said that if these people continued to use the device bad things would happen to them, they may become even dumber than they already were. Life in the cubicle would become less than meaningless since they were now dumber. However, they did not care. They wanted to talk to people, yes other people really existed outside the cube of endless labor

  • Wow…I was surprised that so many of you do not have cell phones. I’m Mennonite, and in my culture it seems like maybe 1 teenager out of 100 does not have a cell phone. So the peer pressure is very strong. I’m only 15, so none of my close friends own a cell phone.

  • Hey…I wasn’t done yet. I hit the wrong key. Anyway, I was going to say that every one of my older friends (18 and up) own a cell phone. And it is SO annoying…a couple of them try to be discreet, but when they get involved in a big text-messaging bonanza it’s all too obvious. And the thing is, they have at least some realization of how distracting it is….texting is just that addictive I guess. Having them flip up their phone and text in the middle of a conversation makes me feel like I am not very important to them. I know that is not the case, but it sure seems that way. So, will I eventually own a phone? Yeah, probably. But I think it is very important not to let it get out of hand. Another thing, doesn’t the Bible say something about idle words? I think most of the conversation in texting is probably worth little. Technology is kind of like a slippery slope, all too easy to fall into the pool at the bottom. However, I don’t believe it’s bad. Handled carefully, it can be a very useful tool.

  • I don’t personally have a cell phone but i think they are great all my friends have one(that’s not why i think their great)I like the idea of being able to talk to someone a million miles away by texting. and the only reason someone would be addicted is cause they text for three hours instead of calling and talking for three hours. i think texting should be for a short hi how ya doing and if you decide to talk forever then CALL then!!!!

  • I agree that cell phones are a difficult issue. I will summarize what I see as some of the best points, and add some of my own

    It’s nice when you have a brief question to ask.
    It’s nice when you need to be guided to a destination.
    It’s nice when you need to find a friend or family member in a crowded place
    It’s a good reminder that we can communicate with God at any time and any place.

    Too many people use cell phones as an escape from meaningful face-to-face conversation.
    Cell phone interuptions are impolite.
    Cell phone conversations are very shallow
    To a person who is insecure, cell phone communication with friends is a security blanket

    I don’t have a cell phone, and I don’t really plan to. With a little planning, I haven’t really needed it.

  • In a way we have been conditioned to become cellphone-slaves. Let me explain what I mean. We are expected to carry our cellphones with us to almost every place we go to, and as soon as we hear it ring, “common sense” tells us to answer the call or turn off the phone. We usually answer the call because “The boss may be calling me” and might get upset if we do not answer etc. In that way we could be used unkowingly as slaves. In that case our boss/es would be our master. I remember that the Bible says we should not serve both God and somethingelse. Enough said.

  • People may think that it is bad to spend as much time on the phone as people in this world do. But if people really looked at how much we are on the internet, that is just as bad as the amount of time spent on the phone. If the people who are on the internet till 3:00 or 4:00am really thought about it is the phone or the internet taking up more of our time and energy in this world. Just something to think about.

  • Well, i think everyone is taking cellphones way too far. They’ve become a way of life!!
    But it can also be good, because ive personally been in a situation where i could help someone come to the Lord because i could text them. It creates an informal effect and lets people think before they send something.

    But really, cellphones have become a part of every day living and it shouldnt be that way. They can distract you from God and your time with Him.
    I guess it just comes down to being responsible and using it for the right reasons.


  • Alex and Brett, thanks for another excellent article!

    I think our generation definitely is obsessed with text-messaging and IM. I am amazed at how much I see text messaging- in grocery stores, waiting rooms, even at city intersections! I play in a local youth symphony orchestra, and during the rests in music, when we should be counting measures, more often than not six to ten people whip out their cellphones and start texting.

    Weighing the pros and cons, I don’t think texting has been very beneficial. Not that it’s bad, but our culture has not used it well. Sure, it’s a way to quickly communicate, but how often have you had a deep, God-glorifying conversation over text messages? Not that this doesn’t happen, but I think the norm is shallow chatter and gossip. I believe that technology CAN be a great tool to glorify God and to further His kingdom. The temptation is to allow it to be a hindrance and distraction. Handling it wisely is the key.

    I am nearly sixteen and I do not own a cellphone. True, it’s occasionally inconvenient, but there’s no temptation to waste time and energy text messaging or having endless conversations with friends. I’d rather choose to use those brain cells to grow closer to God.

    I’m not against others using cellphones. I know that they can be quite beneficial, and at some point several years down the road I will probably acquire a cellphone. I just know that for this season in my life, I will be far better off without the distraction.


  • Hi Alex & Brett,

    I am 16 (todays my birthday!) and I have a cell phone. I used to text sometimes on my phone to my friends but I stopped, because I didn’t have the plan that allowed for it. And because it costs a lot of money and my parents weren’t happy about it!

    Anyways, I do agree that cell phone, texting, and IMing have became way to mundane for our society. I mean, sure technology is going to expand and become more hightech, but there has to be a point where we draw the line. And this sounds exactly where the line needs to be drawn….

    Come on, the people who text and IM each other have to know that its beginning to control their lives, that is if they don’t already realize it. Maybe they chose to ignore it, or maybe their scared of living a “non normal” life because of it. But whatever the case, there desperately needs to be a line drawn witha sign that says “No Tresspassing!”

    Some of my family members have been influenced onto the cell phone bandwagon. I think that it is very stupid and over-rated. There is nothing personal about a text message; no emotion, or sense of sarcasm (which can lead to misunderstandings) and other things like that.

    But the way I see it, sadly, there is not much that WE can do to stop the cell phone evolution from taking over the world. There is no way we can change that!!!…… Although I WILL gladly give it my best shot.

    Cell phones are resonably good. They can help you out when you are in a bad or dangerous situation and be a good way of communitcating (especially with someone all the way around the world). But it is when the user decides to take it a few steps further by using the cell phone in every aspect of their life.

    Anyways, these are just my opinions and I’m sure there will be some people who disagee, and that is fine. But my final reguards are this….. if you are questioning a certain aspect of your life… for example the overuse of cell phones…and you think it could possibly be taking away from your relationship with God… or other aspects in your life… then I ask you to take a BIG step back and to rexamine it.

    Brett & Alex, keep up the great work…I’m trying to learn more about the Rebelution. But I’m sure some very amazing things are going to happen with it!!!!

    Love, Emily!

  • AAAHHH! That ringtone is so high!! I still have the ringing type feeling in my ears! my 15yr old twin and I were playing it, and we were cringing, and our parents were like, “why are you doing that?”

    That is really pitiful that teens are using that technology so they can cheat… maybe that’s why so many adults tend not to trust teens… cause so many of them do stuff like that. The rest of us will just have to work extra hard to prove them wrong… :c)

    ~Elisabeth J. Gruber

  • I’m a texter and I use it for my main electronical contact/conversation. However, this debate has made me think about what I text (songs, clips…whatever) do they really do anything uplifting? I cringe looking back at my “sent” box! Most of it is just lame stuff that doesn’t even make sense! And about the IQ issue, it’s true…all the abreviating jargon is showing up when I actually have to write a real sentence…it’s…so…hard…to…remember…how…to…spell…just kidding. But I have known people that have a hard time writing or spelling anything gramatically proper because of O.D. texting. I probably just spelled “gramatically” wrong. Someone correct me please.

    Oh yeah, and the mosquito ringtone makes my dog and me writhe in agony. My mom can’t hear it at all. Weird.

  • I just got a cellphone, and I don’t text at all (though that has nothing to do with me hating texting; I’m not allowed too, and I have only 1 freind with a cell phone. :)) But i think texting (in moderation) is a good idea; for example, if you need to talk to someone while you are in a super busy place (airport for example) I would find it easier to understand what they text to you than trying to hear them over all the hubbub and extraneaus noise. Also, if you need to be quiet, but you are in the middle of a conversation with someone, or you need to talk to someone, texting them allows instant communication without having to be noisy. All you have to do is turn on mute, and type quietly! But I agree with what others said, texting DOES need to be in moderation.

    P.S. Me, my 17 yr old sis, and my 48 yr old dad could hear the ringing noise…but yes, it DID give me a headache!

  • 1. One way to guard ourselves from this sinful technology is plainly to just not use the cell phones for this kind of activity. I mean calling your friend to ask what the homework was is okay, but texting every other second, and running the bill up and disobeying parents.

    2.In this generation I see cell phones, IMing, texting and all of that just… unneeded. I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t use IM. Itr doesn’t bother me to call my friends on a home phone when they always text each other.

    3. Like I said before, I see texting and Iming so much between my peers. Sometimes I’m made fun of because I don’t use it. But I’d rather not having to worry about minutes on a cell phone or the bill or disobeying my parents. That is why I don’t have a cell phone.

    4.Well, using technology for God would be having engaging conversations with friends about their faith, making blogs to help spread the word about rebelation, and texting friends about their faith, and so forth. The waste of time and energy is when teens text each other like the fourteen year old from Lexington, Virginia do.

    5.Well I don’t know if you have heard about the “Favorite Five” that Verizon Wireless offers, but that is what friends are now. They are your friends if they are on your contact list.

    Great job again guys. You are an inspiration. God Bless.

  • I think we COULD do something about this problem. We could boycott cellphones. But that isn’t going to happen, is it? That would be too “hard”, wouldn’t it?
    Incidentally, I don’t own a cellphone(neither do my teenage brother and sister) and after reading this I don’t ever plan to! A normal phone is good enough for me!
    That ringtone is awful! My brother and I decided that it made our ears feel as though they were being worked too hard. Mine are feeling rather sore!

  • My twin sister and I just got a cell phone about a month ago, and it was SO hard to figure out. Eventually, I found out how to program the phone, after many trial and error expiriments. I honestly cannot even fathom having the ability to be so technilogically advanced as to be able to learn how to use an ipod, mp3 player, and all those other difficult electronic stuff quickly. As far as I’m concerned, if a cell phone has the ability to call someone in case of an emergency, that’s good enough for me. And a couple bells and whistles never hurt either, I suppose. Even if they are hardly ever used… :c)

    I listened to the mosquito ringtone again to refresh my memory, and it was really cool, but almost painful. It was so loud, and I could feel the sound in the back of my head even. I’m almost sisxteen, and my parents are 51 and 50, and neither of them could hear a thing. I don’t know how some kids can listen to that sound day in and day out without massive headaches….. It’s been about five minutes since I listened to it, and the inside of my head is a still a bit painful from listening. Tabitha was right in saying it feels like your ears are being strained. I’m wondering how they even came up with that pitch of a ringtone. Do they use a machine? Anyone know?

    Anyway, great post, and you completely hit the proverbial nail on the head. Thank you very much. :c)

    In His Service,
    ~Kirsten A. Gruber

  • I do not have a cell phone yet, but my mom plans on letting me get one when I get my license. She uses the Verizon network with In, and so we could get texting added for a little extra a month, but I would be paying it. In some senses, it would be good to have if for instance you don’t have very good reception, because a text can be sent out on lower reception. But I’m worried I will get addicted. I’ve wanted a phone for quit the time now, because ‘everyone’ has one. It’s ridiculous how young kids are getting them these days. Almost all of my friends have one, and when I say I don’t their like, ‘Wow, I pity you.’ I don’t feel bad that I don’t have one though. I know my mom didn’t want me having it number one because I couldn’t pay for it and number two, I didn’t need it cause I was often with her or someone who has a cell phone. Now that I’ll be getting my license in a few months she wants me to have one so she knows where I’m at and doesn’t have to worry if I don’t get home at a certain time because of slow traffic. I’m thankful that I havn’t had a cell phone yet, but I will be thankful when I get one.

  • The ‘rant’ below is not an original thought – it was sent to me by a friend of mine, but I whole-heartedly agree with what it is saying. Often I’ve been in coversation with someone and “Oh!” their cell rings or vibrates and they’re off in la-la land and our conversation is over. It’s so sad to see communication being reduced to meaningless jabs on tiny keypads. How can we reverse the trend?
    i h8 txt msgs!
    For the Luddites who have not yet realized that we are in a new century, the title says “I Hate Text Messages” in modern shorthand. And yes, it says I hate them because I do. Has anyone else noticed that text messages are an extremely impersonal method of communication? Squinting at a two inch screen on your cell phone while thumb-typing misspelled text messages tends to obscure the fact that you are communicating with another human being deserving of respect and dignity. To save time and energy, words are abbreviated and misspelled so badly that a texting sub-language has evolved. Unfortunately, there is no eloquence in this pseudo-dialect, as it consists primarily of less-than-profound expressions like, “Wassup? Wot u dune? Whr r u?” and similarly inspiring intellectual exercises.
    What really bothers me is that there is no respect in the texting culture. Because there is no face to face contact, there is none of the natural respect shown when two human beings make eye contact. An already dumb culture is being dumbed down even further, and i h8 it! English is a rich language with almost unlimited vocabulary to express precise, powerful meaning, but we’re down to about two dozen misspelled abbreviations for all our communication. Whatever happened to passion and eloquence in speaking? Just take a look at the video in the post below, and compare that profound eloquence with the witless gibberish filling our cell phones. I still get goose bumps every time I watch this video. When I see text messages, my skin merely crawls. It’s not the same.

  • I personally do not own a cell phone, but I do use IM a lot, simply because I find most people to open up a bit more, particularly my non-christian friends. Also, I have more time to think carefully about how to reply to what they have to say and most of my chances to witness has been over IM. I prefer to talk to someone in person, but sometimes it’s easier over IM since in person I have to repeat myself several times to make myself heard and feel like I’m raising my voice an unnecessary amount.
    I don’t think that I ‘overuse’ IM, but I’m not sure that I should use it just because it’s easier…I guess I need to consider this more.

  • Youch! I can hear that tone, but it feels like an ear infection!

    I agree that technology *can* be, and is often, mis-used and over-used. I find it distracting and frustrating, and it seems disrespectful, when friends text during a conversation. Whenever I’m anywhere, it seems that every other person either has their cell phone glued to their ear, or are texting non-stop.

    I just got a cell phone, well, rather, my mom just got me one. She wants to be able to get ahold of me when I’m not at home. Honestly, that’s almost all it’s used for. I send a text once in awhile, but I have to pay for those, so it’s not often! I really don’t want to become addicted to texting, or IM. As for IM, my parents have not allowed me to have it until this year, and now, looking back, I can see why! I use IM to keep up with my friend from my mission trip, but that’s about it, for now.

    Something else that changes the meaning of “friend” is Facebook. Don’t get me wrong, it is a useful tool for keeping in touch with people when used in moderation. But it can become addicting and eat your time, it can give a false security of having many friends, it can replace real conversation with short blurbs on eachother’s walls, etc. So that’s something else to be careful in using!

  • My sister and I are the only ones in our group of friends that don’t have cell phones. I could get one if wanted one, but I spend my money on more beneficial things. Some people, while using cells tend to be very inconsiderate of the people around them. It makes me feel uncomfortable when I’m having a conversation with someone and his or her cell phone rings, or vibrates, and then I have to stand there and stare at my shoes, trying not to feel like I’m eavesdropping. I think face-to-face conversations should take preference over cell conversations, and if you are talking to someone and your cell phone vibrates it would be very polite to either ignore it, or if it is an emergency, take it out of the room. Thanks!

  • That is an absolutely horrid sound! how can they even stand that? it’s still ringing in my ears. Cell phones are a tool and there is a time and place to use them but in front of some one you were just talking to is rude and to use them to cheat on tests is down right dishonorable but then again we live in a society where honor no longer matters to most people.
    I find it sad that more often than not when you walk into a restaurant there is at least one table with two people at it but one is on the cell phone and the other is just sitting there eating in silence being ignored.Then there is those Blue tooth things that my family calls Borg atachments (I don’t know how many of y’all have seen that Star trek movie) =) those are just weird.

  • Wow.. thats crazy.. That also explains why me and my brother can here that really high pitched noise the TV makes when the screen is on but nothing is playing.. I played the MP3 for my mom.. super load and she didnt hear it. I still find it flabbergasting. But really fascinating… I have 200 texts a month and ive gone over. I guess it really can be addicting.. *will work on not doing that so much*

  • i don’t get a phone until christmas when my brother got one, now im sorday scarred if say my mom calls me durring school like she does to my brother and then my grade goes down.

  • Hi, Can you please send me some information on text bullying. My questions are;

    1.What is text bullying?

    2.What can be done by a victim of text bullying?

    3. What are the affects of text bullying?

    If you could that would be really great.

    Your sinciely

    Elsa O’Sullivan

  • alex and bret i was wondering if you would pray for my friend she is only twelve im fourteen but she does drugs like smokes pot and does perscription drugs and i cant help her but i can pray for her and i was wondering if you guys and everyone else would pray for her …. and im also reading your book do hard things it is very inspiring to myself and my father i live in america so if you guys can email my mom,s email it says on the comment board it would be helpful if everyone put her in their prayers so please pray for her like i said u can email this email address …. god bless you all

  • one final thing why is their such a problem with cell phones and text bullying and all of that i see that on one comment i dont hav a cell phone so i dont know what text bullying is like

  • I think the biggest fear is that our generation will begin to use texting and IMing as a replacement for face to face conversations with people. God put more than one person on earth so that we could relate to each other and help each other out, not so we could replace each other with texting and IMing.

  • I’m 13 and have had a cell phone for about 4 years. The only reason I got one so early was I was always at my Tae Kwon Do school. So my mom wanted a way to make sure I was safe. I never really used it much until about a year ago. Now I find myself talking and texting my friends alot. I’m pretty good about not letting it take over my life, but I really have to be careful. I think another thing thats scary about texting, is that when you read a text, you cant read emotions. And you can take something one of your friends said, and make it mean something else just by putting the wrong emotion with it.

    In Him,

  • Though I do have free, unlimited texting, I really only use it when I have no other method of communication available to my friends. I don’t know how, but I suppose I’m just patient enough to not need a response “right now!” and can wait for an e-mail. When I do see a friend is on IM, I do like to start up a conversation, and sometimes it’s been incredibly beneficial, but I usually only IM when I have a specific objective, like asking advice about a rumor being spread around me. I definitely prefer being in the prescence of my friends, though. I have made a friendship work when I only met him once (my friend brought this guy, their boyfriend, to my birthday party) with MySpace, but I do make sure that we actually have enough in common to consider him a friend and not my friend’s boyfriend.

  • I think that cell-phones Iming ect. can be a phenominal power for God, as long as we focus on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…”Philipians 4:7-9 (I think thats the right ref) If we use our cell phones, Myspace, Facebook, whatever we use, for Gods glory and for His Kingdom, than technology can be,(and is) a huge asset to us in working for God.

  • I didn`t read all of these but i do agree with A fellow soldier`s and tai`s cell phones and technology are being abused but if we all use myspace and facebook and our cellphones in use for God than we might not have that big of a problem with having to pay back our parents for having the bill go up or having unappropriate things on our myspace or whatever but technology is changing our world and now me and one of my friends aren`t even speaking to each other because one of us had to make it a big deal that the other got the better cell phone.And I agree with Wes to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is honest whatever is pure, whater is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report if there be any virtue and if there be any praise think on these things”Philipians 4:8 if we use it to honor God than than we can use it while working for God and He will bless us and His glory will shine in our lives.

  • I definitely agree with what was stated in this article. I think that like many things in our lives, cell phones and other technologies are not necessarily bad or evil, but when used for sin they become bad and evil. I also find it true that texting and instant messaging can become addicting, as I have found out from first hand experiences. Something that was not stated in the article is how texting and instant messaging, at least in my opinion, affect your communications skills when you actually have to talk to someone face to face. The biggest thing we can do to help protect ourselves from the sin that technology can cause, is to has for God’s strength in resisting sins.

  • Well, my ‘mesquito’ experience backfired. During recess, some kids were going through their ringtones and one girl had mesquito. I was excited, because, although the phenomenon hadn’t hit my school yet [actually most people are annoyed by it and don’t want to hear it anyways], I had heard about it on the news and wanted to see if it really worked. I rarely texted in class, in fact usually it was me trying to reach my mom when the school wouldn’t let me use their phones for a “non-emergency” [or forgetting your homework…], but anyways, I asked the girl to send it to me. She did, and I decided I could set my phone to full blast since all of my calls were now set to the ringer. Someone else in the group said they’d call me, and while I know they were just doing it to get me in trouble, I was excited [but nervous] to how that would turn out. The person didn’t call, but in pre-algebra my phone went off. And it wasn’t mesquito. It was a loud song that everyone, including my non-merciful teacher, could hear. Turns out I had only set my CALLS to mesquito! My friend’s mom had TEXTED me to tell her daughter something, and I ended up getting my phone taken up! I learned my lesson, and I never intentionally set my phone to loud again!

  • So I think this is really helpful because you’re telling me and many other people that phones are met for important things like mom calling to see where you are or when you’ll be home. I sort of agree on that whole aspect but I also think there should be something literaly done about it like there should be a law that says that teenagers 14 and younger cannot have a phone. HECK I mean I have friends who had phones when they were 8! I didn’t get my phone until I was 14 but I respected it back then. IT was still actually a privillege to get a phone. But now its like something that you’re SUPPOSED to have at age 7. What are we doing walking into 2nd grade with cell phones!!!

    And so my phone service does and did and will have texting capabilities but I have actually noticed that I type or write sometimes using text lang like dis is so s2pid dat we r really doin dis. i tink its xtremly anoing dat ppl type wi/ haf da word missing.

    I think its annoying and totally socially inappropriate and incorrect. I think there really should be cell phone age limits set by the phone companies themselves since parents aren’t doing it. And if they could see what they want their phones for, then maybe it would get ’em to listen up a bit.

  • What’s becoming even more frustrating is when my friends will talk in “texting lingo”. Like saying LOL after someone tells a joke. In fact, focus on the family has actually started to give out texting lingo guides to parents in order to help them understand their teens. Soon our language will have evolved to being only combination of letters!

  • * How do we guard ourselves from using technology as a way to get away with sin, instead of as a tool to glorify God?

    I think we should do it like the Twins are now! Keep eachother encouraged, and make sure we don’t constantly go online, or carry a cell phone in front of our face. Haha. 🙂 Maybe not all of us are that severe, but there are plenty of things we can do on the computer like write, or read good blogs like this (then following the plans).

    * What are your thoughts on our generation’s obsession with text-messaging and IMing?

    Personally, I don’t like it, because I don’t have a cell phone. I agree with David Brooks, and cell phones should have an age limit.

    * How much have you noticed “texting” among your own group of friends and acquaintances? How much do you do it?

    I’ve noticed it occasionally, and a few people in my Youth Group hide cell phones behind Bibles while texting. When a Bible is used for that kind of purpose, you know that can’t be right.

    * Where do you think the balance is between using technology to be more effective for God and wasting time, and possibly, energy and brain cells?

    My parents have given me a timelimit for the computer, (online and games,) of thirty minutes. In that time you can get done what you wanted, (like reading this blog) and check your mail.

    * How do you think technology is changing the definition of “friendship” among young people today?

    I think texting is effecting all of our culture. Just an example here, but I saw a commercial on TV where all of these people are texting, and not even paying attention to what they were doing before; they weren’t even talking to each other, but texting each other. If that is not wrong, I don’t know what will be next.

  • you are ohh so very right. people text sometimes when they are right next to eachother, you are ohh so very right. I rarely ever use my cell and i am in middle i only do it if my mom forgets to pick me up or somehting like that. thats the only time. i’m gonna tell all my friends. This site is awesome possume!!! 🙂 (/|\)-peace &

  • I just got my phone two days ago. my friend asked if she could text me. i said i didn’t have text because my mom didn’t want me to. I am now so glad i don’t have it. Thank you!!!

  • This is an excellent point! I read a book about the psychological impacts of technology (the book was the most specific about television) but this relates as well. One of the main points that the author had was our institution of a technology without knowing what effect it will have on us, and cellular telephones are a prime example of how that has happened. They aren’t even 20 years old, and yet people are expected to have them. You are almost biased against if you don’t have one. We didn’t have the need for them 20 years ago, why do we feel that we need them so much now? It’s because of the point that you brought up – instant gratification. I suspect (as I just heard of this whole website yester-day) that the whole goal of this is to ‘Do hard things’. One of these is to avoid instant gratification. Especially at the calibre of rampant growth that it has to-day, it gives up at look at what the past was if we do work that is now done by machines. We get more of a satisfaction of doing things because we worked so hard to get them done and do them correctly.
    We really don’t need any of the technology that we do have, but yet we must survive in a world that has it. I’m standing against it, if just for the purpose of being different and avoiding what will inevitably happend – something along the lines of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. I’m a junior in high school now, and I don’t have a cellular telephone and as long as I live will not have one. I gave up television back in April. The media really does saturate our minds. With commercials that lie to us and say that we NEED a particular product that in reality really won’t do anything to us.
    You have brought up an excellent point, and I’m glad someone finally understands how the media implants its ideals into our heads.

  • I agree with Daniel. Christians should be wary of technology and the effects it has. Perhaps “fasting” from certain technological devices can enable us to glorify Him. Glorifying Him is our life purpose. Cutting back on technology will not kills us; cutting back is a worthy Hard Thing.

  • At church the other night our youth pastor had us write down the time we spend every day texting/facebooking. I was pretty amazed at the results; at least three people said they texted 3 hours a day, and most everyone did at least half an hour. I really agree with everyone in that texting, while an effortless mode of communication, really lives out this cliche: no pain, no gain. Now before you blast me off the walls here, listen up for a second. Texting, when used in moderation, is an excellent tool. I should know, my dad uses it for his work communicating with Asian pastors. However, when teens use it for blatant wrongdoing, or even the not-so-obvious devoting our life to it, it becomes undeniably bad, not just for our minds but for our life. You didn’t think the problem with devoting hours a day to texting would just vanish, did you, when you grew up and got a job? So, actually, my point is exactly what the post was saying: (no need to say it again, if you don’t know what I’m trying to say then go back and read the artivle again)
    God bless!!

  • Awesome work, hombres! I got a phone a little while ago, a year ago, maybe, and about the only texts I’ve ever recieved were for important things such as reminders of special events or times for worship practice, and even those have been very few and far between. Heck, I’d be lucky if I get one text message every two months. Yeah, I have a lot of friends, but I usually make it a point to actually ‘talk’ with the person I want to talk to. Besides, reading the screen sometimes hurts my eyes and trying to decifer a super downsized and abreaviated like it’s going out of style hurts my brain. Then I read your post and I’m amazed at how much more harmful it is for your IQ and I’m like “ARROO??!” Seriosly. Who’d have thunk that texting was worse for your IQ than marajuana? Go figure!
    The Lord bless you both for what you’ve done and plan to do! Godspeed, amigos! Enya!
    (If you’re an LOTR nut or are into New age music, you’ll get that one.)

    P.S. (Who says blogging has to lower your IQ?)

  • BTW (By the way), where did you find that little factoid about texting and marajuana? Not that I don’t trust you guys, but past experiences have taught me to “do my homework” so to speak and be sure of my facts. Maybe a link to the article or the site it’s from? Just curious.

  • I think that blogging doesn’t really lower IQ because it actually helps you learn how to type faster and memorize your keys on the keybaord

  • My Sunday teacher Mrs. Reilly dared us to sign for at least one day of clean up because we were going to a camp and i signed up for all four clean up days. She told us that because in class we are studying the book Do Hard Things.

  • I think this is a wonderful post to have up. As a grade twelve student in a public highschool I can easily see how time spent texting has replaced the spent building a valuable and important friendship. Texting is just too easy, and requires little to no time or commitment to the friendship/relationship.

    Also, I notice A LOT how people who proclaim themselves to be more intelligent than the majority have little time for proper grammer or spelling. It bothers me when people use ‘they’re’ and ‘their’ incorrectly, or substituting ‘u’ for ‘you’. I mean, these things were supposed to be “time savers”, right? But when you’re texting or IMing, it’s hunt and peck! I’d like to see these people type at 60 words per minute! It’s pretty much impossible, and makes them sound illiterate beside? (On that note, why is it so cool to be illiterate in society?)

    Now, all this isn’t to say that I think texting or emails or IMing can be a bad thing. I use all of the above forms of communication, but in moderation. Emphasis on moderation. It’s when we let these types of communication take the place of real and valid friendships that I think it is a problem. Sometimes it is the only practical form of communication, but that isn’t an excuse to use the number 2 as a replacement for ‘to’. I like to think of proper spelling as a a sign of respect for the person reading what you wrote. Make sense?

    These are just some of my thoughts, but again, very accurate (and a message that I think is much needed to hear) article.

  • * I don’t have a cell phone. Just thought I would clear that up. I have chosen not to have one, but will be getting one simply for the purpose of letting my parents know where I am, because I feel that cell phones have this weird tendency to take over people’s lives. I would prefer a pager, but hey, it’s expensive to call long distance from a payphone.

  • I think that texting does have benefits:
    1. It can be used to communicate without risking interrupting someone if they are somewhere/doing something important (such as in a meeting, having an important discussion, or simply busy and unable to commit to a long conversation).
    2. Conversations on texting and IM can be God-honoring and productive. Usually I will use facebook im to talk about spiritual things or to talk to someone I haven’t seen in a while.

    The main problem I think this poses is when teens are unable to have face-to-face conversations, or even do so at the same level that they would have on text. For example, a person is able to express an opinion over text but when they sees the person face-to-face, they cannot have as deep or productive of a conversation as they could have had on text.

    The second main problem is an interruption in our relationship with God. This is the largest problem, because an addiction can cause us to go from silently praying for our friends to thinking about how we can’t wait until they text us back–as our phone sits right next to us. It’s something that, for those of us with phones, we must always be aware of an monitoring so that we might not fall.

  • Thought you guys were right on. A lot of my friends use their cell to much and for the worng reasons. I’m doing a bible study with your book. You guys are awesome.

  • I have a cell phone, and i’m in 8th grade. but i have never even thought of cheating on a test for it! and some people do it at my school… but if u get caught some teachers will call your parents from your phone and in front of the class. the way i see it is that if we don’t do the work our selves then how will we get thru tests and everything else in life?

    i have caught myself many many time in english class writing in “r” instead of are and “bcuz” instead of because. and it gets worse. i realize that i am constantly getting better at catching my self.

    i wonder why people use things like “OMG” and “WTF.” its still saying the same thing! if you ever get caught writing it, teachers no wat it means, and they usually punish kids for it. i dont see why people take our new technology, and put it to waste! it is horrible the way teens talk. the language both in texting and outside talking is horrible and i think that someone, everyone should stand up for it!

  • I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that with cellphones to text you have to use selfcontrol. Like if you have urges to send a text you should first ask yourself #1 Is it true? #2 is it good? #4 Is it usefull?. If it is not true and it is about someone else it would be concidered gossip and that is not benificial for young or old alike. If its not good then you better make sure its true. If its not usefull then make sure its good like encouragement. If anyone has any comments about what I said please write me at [email protected]. thx

  • I don’t text personally (having a cell phone to do it on kind of helps), but a lot of my friends do. I really have noticed their spelling deteriorate when they email. I use abbreviations occasionally (lol, btw, brb, gtg) but not always. I still remember what words they actually stand for, which is more than can be said for a lot of people. 🙂 And, bonus, I can spell those words! Oh yeah! 😀 All joking aside though, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that texting would lead to poor spelling. It really disturbs me.

  • Innovative technology often helps replace friendship with self-centeredness. The teens who want more features, like voice filters and auto-redial options, have one goal in mind: doing what they want to do for their own personal pleasure, with no consequences, with technology “on their side”. Like drugs, these highly-equipped phones help teens escape reality.

  • I just got texting on my cell phone last week. I am amazed at how addicting it can be. I like to only use it to keep in contact with my parents when I’m out of town and calling them would not be practical due to conflicting schedules. I am sometimes ashamed when I relaize how I “talk” when I text. I do like it, though, because I can keep in contact with certain people that I would otherwise not be able to. Technology worries me. I am using it a lot, but sometimes I notice that it makes people rude. I can’t even count how many times people have stopped a conversation with me in order to answer a text message. It also bugs me when people use texting lingo when they speak or write an essay. I think it can be used as a tool or an idol. I am trying to control my use and I have been able to use it as a tool to help me glorify God.

  • I have a cell phone, and I find it can be a distraction and diversion, or a wonderful tool. The secret is to put a limit on texting and all that stuff.

  • Okay so I went home for Christmas to visit friends and relatives. ( We moved.) My cousin was constantly texting her boyfriend. We could not even sit down and have a normal conversation, because she was consantly saying, “Wait I’ve got to text him back.” I finally just went over to my great grandma’s; she was more interesting that my 15 year old cousin.

  • thanx so much for the great post! it’s frustrating when you’re trying to carry on a conversation w/ a friend and they’re constantly glued to their phone! it doesn’t make a person feel loved when they have to compete w/ a screen! i’m not getting a cell until college & i kind of see a freedom in not having one; i can pick up a book or talk to my sis/friends which is so much more fulfilling! also, many teens use the angle “well if i have an emergency”- it’s true and i know people that actually do use it JUST for an emergency but think about it, if you had an emergency or had a change of plans, wouldn’t there be 20 other people around you who have a cell-phone you could use? 🙂


  • this is a really good post …
    and its made me think
    like theres so much evil going on with cell phones
    i was sitting by my friend in chapel the other day and we are not supposed to have cellphones in school .. and i noticed my friend had hers and she got a text. i glanced over to see what it sayed not only did it say stuff but there was an image attachment…
    and that made me realize im so glad i dont have a cell phone..
    so this is a good post that most teens should read …

  • Would you be able to give some specifics on the study mentioned regarding IQ levels? I’m an Information Science major who recently completed a paper on the effects of information sources and the effect of various technologies on the human mind. I’m hoping to continue researching the topic for further use, and that study might be just what I’m looking for.

  • I think cell phones aren’t evil it’s the people that are using them, God gave us choices and we use them wrongly.

  • Phones can be extremely addictive, but as can all technology. Teens abuse them, that’s what makes them addictive and hard to give up. The phones themselves aren’t evil, it’s what we do with them. I for one, do not own a mobile/cell, I’ll occasionally use my dads’ to look up music and music videos, but I’d never even consider owning one. It seems to be a craze and trend that if you own phones, you’re apparently cool. But hello, we’re not supposed to fit in with the rest of the world! Jesus has set us apart from it! So why do we want stuff that the rest of the world wants? It’s our flesh. But God can help us overcome it. And it’s even better to just leave it alone, and not go out deeper. Because once you get your feet wet, it’s harder not to go out even deeper. So for all those teens who don’t own a cell, stay that way! You don’t need it! It’s a waste of time. Imagine, 10 years from now, sitting down with your kids and they ask you what your favourite childhood memory is. Do you really want to say, “Well, it was IMing my friends and making phone calls at 10 o’clock at night?” My advice is to steer clear of them, unless you have an extreme amount of self control. They are addictive. I have a great relationship with Jesus because I’m not IMing my buds every daylight hour. While cells are not evil, never put stuff before Jesus. If you think you’re putting cell before Christ, get rid of it. Seriously, chuck it out.

  • This is excellent! It really seems sometimes that I am the only teenager in my youthgroup without a cell. I want to honor my parents, but it is so tough, sometimes when I am the only “cell-less” 9th grader. Thank you all for a BIG encouragement. 🙂

  • Thanks for the post
    It is hard because I have a cell phone and so do my friends and they don’t understand why I don’t text message. I don’t because, 1. when they first discovered im that was all they talked about and it became an obsession and I simply got sick of hearing about im.
    and 2. what is the point of texting if you are going to have a conversation. It takes so long to type one word that everything has been shortened to just constanants and it is ruining teens ability to intelegently talk or write in a way that is understandable. And like im i think that it is becoming an obsession.
    Sorry to anyone who likes to text or im but this is just my opinion. 🙂

  • This is stupid. This is propaganda. These claims are false. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the way people use phones is in the hands of the beholder. The technique used in this article is called selective journalism. They got hundreds of responses, and dug out the ones that would portray teenagers in the worst light. Phones are not evil, they are useful communication devices that can be used excessively. People can use cell phones functionally, or they can abuse it. This is true for just about everything. Some people abuse food, and become obese, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t eat food. School is a great way to learn, but if you focus too much on school it can ruin other aspects of your life. Like everything else in life, cell phones require moderation. Don’t hate on cell phones because some teenage girls are stupid, just make sure that you don’t become one of those people who get text messages every 20 seconds.

    You’d think that cell phones caused 9/11 the way this article portrays them.
    Get a grip people. Jeez.

  • I also have an emergencies only cell phone. I’m allowed to use it LIMITEDLY for personal use like texting or calling friends, but It’s supposed to just be for calling my parents when I finish my activities and stuff in school. I do text some of my friends that live out of town sometimes, but not a lot. I see texting all over the place in my school. There are people with their cell phones out in every class. If your phone goes off in class or if you get caught using it, it gets taken away and sent to the office until the end of the day. I agree entirely with the article(?) above. It seems lately like teens are attached to their cell phones at the hip. Or the Ear or the Hand, as the case may be…

  • Thanks guys,for this. I have to wonder what God thinks when He sees His people texting away during church? Do we even have time for God anymore? Can we not leave our cells in the car or at home while we are at church? Can we not watch with Him 1 hour??I get so tired of [everywhere i go]people are texting away and seem sooooooooo addicted and distracted by their phones. Definately need to use moderation. –sharon

  • Thanks for writing what I’ve thoughts all these years! It is actually a surprise to find there is other like minded teens in the world. Be assured, God will bless our efforts to use technology as a tool, not a toy.

  • Ouch! that hurt my inner ear, man, no wonder that moskito thing was used for annoying us. Great post. I will use this one when I’m 40, might help me out…

  • Okay, my blunt and rude side is coming out now after reading this post. Let me express it thusly:


    Okay, got that out of my system now. Seriously, though, what is the point of texting? I only understand it if, say, you or someone you know is deaf, but otherwise, what is the point? I have a cell phone, but (gasp) I use it for talking, not texting. One thing that I have noticed about teens who text, like, all the time is that they have a harder time connecting with people and communicating one on one. Also, in my opinion, texting is just another form of rudeness. My proof for this statement? About a year or so ago, I was in church one Sunday, and someone’s cellphone kept going off through the whole service. My mom and I realized after the service that some unholy and irreverent person had been texting through the whole service, including the pastor’s sermon. My question is, is texting so important that you have to do it all the time, to the point of ignoring not just the people around you, but God himself? Just a thought.

  • Just listened to that moskito thing. OUCH!!! my ear is RINGING! I plan to test it on my mom in a few minutes to see if we teens really ARE the only ones who can hear it.

  • With you on that Irina. The other night my youth group was together and one of the guys had his cell and was just holding it in his hand. He was like “just got to have it in my hand”.And i was thinking -hello, where is moderation?Do we even know what moderation is anymore?Oh my,i just cringe sometimes at how addicted people are with their cells.

  • Well, reading this post and all these great comments, makes me NOT want a cell phone more and more. (Not that I have anyone to talk to or anything)


  • I have a prepaid phone that doesn’t get service in our small town, but sometimes I use my moms old cell (that gets service here) to text but hardly at all because I think its stupid, why not just call them if they have a phone and I’m really slow at texting anyway.

  • That mosquito thing is insane! My ears are still ringing from it! When i first got my phone i wanted all my freinds numbers so i could text them, but in the past month i barely text at all. Really it bores me. Sometimes I do text because i dont want to be rude and ignore people but i would SO much rather be riding my bike, or reading the bible or reading a book or anything more productive!

  • When I first got my cell phone I was texting all of my buddies, every single second that I could. A couple months after I got it, I realized I was getting addicted to it, and I was like “hello?! I used to read every second I could, and ever since I got this thing I have hardly read in the past few months!! I have hardly exercised or played the piano, or ANYTHING besides text text text!” I don’t text much at all anymore…most of my friends I like to call and talk to…or better yet!! get together with them! Besides, when texting things can get SO twisted because you can’t tell how people are saying it. Their emotions and voice tones.. :/ That’s happened to me more than once…It’s always better to have the more serious conversations face-to-face, no matter how hard it is.

  • This article is SOO true! I’ve been in phone conversations where my friend would get a text message, put me on speaker-phone, and talk to me while she was texting. Even though i don’t yet own a cell phone, (i don’t need one right now) sometimes it is hard to have an intelligent conversation with someone, because as soon as we get into a conversation good, they will get a text message, and be in “la-la” land while I’m talking. Whatever happened to the art of elequently communicating to a face-to-face individual? In the beginning of the 1900’s, people knew how to communicate with each other politely and in a friendly, efficient way–face-to-face. Sadly, that’s becoming more and more like a lost art in our generation. While cell phones, email, and technology can be used in a GREAT way to serve and uplift our Saviour (I’m an email fan, myself), more often than not, it is used in a way that the DEVIL would approve of. There has to be something we can do to reverse this trend…
    Thanks so much for posting this article…for this whole site, really. Y’all are doing a GREAT job for the Lord. KEEP IT UP! To GOD be the glory!

  • I only use texting if I need to contact people who might be in the middle of something. A text message they can look at when they are finished, while they would ignore a phone call (and I can’t count on them checking their email often). I suspect the same is true for many people. However, there are those who walk into walls because they are busy texting.
    On campus, I see so many people walking with their cellphones pressed to their heads. I wonder if they can’t stand to be alone.

  • It truly is sad what some teenagers find acceptable. I find this blog vary interesting. I think that texting friends for a certain reason or or for no real reason isn’t wrong. i think it becomes wrong when we make it an idol. I also believe that the right and wrong line when it comes to texting is not as black and white as some people often say, but then again there is a point where i believe it becomes a definite sin. I don’t know if this makes perfect sense, but i obviously don’t have it all figured out. i text a quite a bit, today i sent 15 so far and i am still going. But think its who you texting and what your saying in those texts and even the reason your texting them is what can get you into trouble. I think that cell phones are very useful in case emergency.I have found that is cases where you get lost in a big mall or something like that you wont know anyone around you so how are you going to find your parents without the use of the security there. Also many of my friends have moved away or i met them at camp or something, and its nice to be able to keep in touch with out the possible awkwardness a phone call can bring.

  • Cell phones down here are quite addicting. Most people have the latest cell phone(the blackberry) and because of its many features refuse to put it down. I’m one of the lucky ones who don’t have a blackberry and therefore have no need to be on it every second of the day. But having a cell phone has its advantages(quick and easy communication etc.) and its disadvantages( addiction, the ability to receive not-so-good info…etc.). So we can choose what we use our cell phones and freedom to do.

  • a cell phone is like an AK47, u can protect urself or shoot urself…
    simply, it’s good if u know where to draw the line in using it.

  • What I find most annoying about cell phones is when people start texting, or check there phone, during a conversation with somebody else. It really sends the message that, “I have someone more important to talk to”. A quote by Jim Elliot really hits the mark in referring to texting in groups: “Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot. It also breaks the unity in groups when everybody is off texting somebody else, rather than talking to the immediate people in the room. Not only that, but excessive texting is ruining teen’s conversational skills. Nobody can hold a decent conversation anymore.

  • my bff texts all the time and she is so different than before, her talk is so weird. I even here her say “lol” instead of laughing. Dont text to much, invades brain

  • I believe that all that these we on texting are true. American teenagers expeccially have become “addicted” with there cell phones! It’s pretty wild what technology can do these days, not only can it send “texts back and forth in mere seconds…it can control our lives and our time!

    Even though I don’t agree with people who say that it’s gonna end the world! I do believe that we as teenagers going, and the next generation….need to..CUT IT OUT! 🙂 it shouldn’t be our world, our family, our friends, the strangers we meet, our church body, and our somday spouses are! And if you are gonna tell me that CELL PHONES, and COMPUTORS, are more important then than are family and friends, well I’ll be completely honest with you….that’s…

    Just plan stupid.

  • Sorry the first setence is supposed to say…

    “I believe that all these articles on texting are true.”

    Haha I’m so wierd!

  • Hey guys sry about my first comment…. I have a strange auto correct and it switches everything I’m trying to type! It has a mind of it’s own!!

  • Hmmm, well does this mean, its wrong to have a cell phone…I wrote a comment earlier, but that was a couple months ago and things happen in that amount of time…I don’t think I should have a cell phone, but I am starting to want to do things and I am wondering if my parents will need to talk to me, or I need to tell them something…is it wrong if it is for that reason only? I don’t really like talking on the phone…so that might work, but i wanted your opinion…

    Thanks, sorry if it doesn’t make sense, but I am having trouble write with me younger brother singing a “Barney the Dinosaur” song…OFF KEY! lol, just rambling…

  • I think this is really cool I dont have a phone but i may be getting one soon and this was raelly helpful

  • I don’t have a cell phone yet and I won’t be until I have my drivers license and even then it will be pre-paid and for emergencies only:) Even if I were able to get a phone w/unlimited texting, calling etc. I wouldn’t want one because I’ve seen first hand how addicting it can be. It can almost be as addicting as smoking or drugs (Ihave nothing against people who text but I think it should be used as an emergency.:))

  • Josiah- I don’t think there is anything wrong with cell phones. Cell phones can be used for the wrong reasons but saying it’s wrong to have a cell phone is like saying its wrong to have a car. Cell phones are in no way a bad thing in themselves. (I believe they are a very useful and helpful thing.) But just like cars, or (or practically any technology) they can be used for the wrong reasons. It’s up to us to be responsible, and many teens these days aren’t.
    Note:I am a cell phone user and do a good amount of texting. I have however, not become what you’d call addicted. And while i have to be careful with my phone I also like to remind myself where i’d be (I’m a leader in my youth group) if i didn’t have a phone to keep in thouch with people. (I’d be late for every meeting that’s for sure) 🙂
    Another Note: I live in a country

  • Hello! I figured it would be nice if I signed your guestbook. I just thought that I would visit your homepage and see what all you have been up to, well – it’s awesome!

  • First of all, I don’t think that texting is necessarily a terrible thing, but it is the mis-use of it by some people that makes it bad. I also think that it is rude when someone starts texting right in front of you or says wait, I have to text this person back. For emergency purposes or for communication with family that is not seen often, I think texting is fine as long as it does not become addicting. By the way, I don’t have a phone and i really don’t know if I want one or not. Like I said, I don’t think texting is necessarily terrible, it just depends on how it is used and how much it is used.

  • I think cell phones are usefull if we are using them for the right reasons. Maybe consider turning off your cell phone 15 mins before you go to bed and talk to God, read your Bible, just center your life on Him for the last few minutes before you fall asleep 🙂 thats my take in it.

  • i think that the cell phone and is kinduv a waste cause if u got an email u can just im people thats just a tad faster than txt msgs so yeah

  • Reading this kinda made me sad. We really do live in a falling world.
    My parents have been against me getting a cellphone (I’m a senior in high school and the only one in my youth group without one) and I’ve put up quite a bit of a fight about it. Now, I understand a little more why they’re against it. Most of the time, texting is an intense waste of valuable time. In my opinion, spending time with your friends in person is much better. 🙂
    Great post, thanks

  • Wow! I didn`t think texting and/or AIMing was that addicting! well its a good thing to keep in mind andtry not to let it take all of your time. thanks for the post! i`ll show it to some of my friends w/ who text.

  • Believe you have to consider all aspects in the current economic climate – personally do no think we have seen the full extent of the recesssion, so would be cautious in considering.

  • THIS IS THE CALL FOR A REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PLEASE SEE AUTP REPLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    [email protected]

  • Aren’t some of those features that teens want illegal? I kinda wanted a phone, but now I’m not so sure. I mean, what if it has that mall security camera detector and I didn’t know and I went to the mall? I hope they don’t add those features! =(

  • Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that just because you don’t have a phone, doesn’t mean you’re not as good as all your other friends. It just means that you A) prefer living in the real world or B) your parents won’t get you one. I honestly prefer believing in A. =)

  • Now…I really don’t get the big deal with cell phones. All of my friends have one, not just because of the age between my friends and me and the maturity, (me being the youngest and, um, maturest.) because of the modern day need-to-have-this-because-everyone-else-does-so-I-wont-be-rejected sort of stuff. And, yet, look at me! No cell phone. No laptop. No nothing. And I’m not rejected. I am actually RESPECTED for it. I have shown, unlike most kids, I can live with out the text and stuff that most kids have. I bet, if you took a poll around your neighborhood for the reason they got a cell phone in the first place, is because they bugged their parents and got it to ‘fit in.’ I don’t need to ‘fit in’. ‘Cause now, ‘fitting in’ is smoking, underage drinking and stuff like that. I don’t want to be right in the, “In” crowds eyes…I want to be right in GODS eyes. even if it means no cell phone. Not the end of the world.

  • I have a cell phone, and yes, i do text. I only text my two really good friends because they have to share minutes with multiple brothers and sisters but they have unlimited texting. My parents expect me to have it always in case of emergency. I only got a phone last year. I also use it to record myself playing piano. I completely agree with the too much texting. My mom showed me something on youtube the other day where people put 3 cell phones around some popcorn kernels and had people call the phones. The radiation popped the kernels and the people ate them.

  • I’ve noticed in my many observations that people use cell phones and texting almost like a security blanket. They bury their face in them as a way of avoiding direct human interaction. Staring at a digital screen has become to much of a comfort zone for people, and to much comfort can slow down the mind. They’re a good tool for communication, but nothing beets direct interaction with those that you care about. Peace.

  • Cell phones are so overrated in my opinon why not write letters or call your frends on the home phone or something or ride to that friends house if they live near you. i understand if they live in a different state. but you can call using the home phone if you have one that is. i mean look at our generation we rely on technolgy and not on the LORD JESUS.

  • My parents won’t let me have a cell phone yet, but from the looks of things, it doesn’t look like I need one after all!!!!

  • Personally I don’t get why every one makes a big deal over cell phones. They are not bad as long as they don’t get in the way of things that really matter. I turn off my phone at school. To be totally honest I would rather call a friend instead of txting. It really is not a big deal.

  • Thank you both for submitting this article. I personally feel that it is very insightful and am shocked at how deceitful teens can be. I have and use my cell phone, but I could easily live without it, although it does have its uses :). It seems to me that honesty and self-discipline are the best strategies for teens to solve this issue, although it does come down to making a personal decision to act with maturity and integrity. If people are truly making such an effort to deceive those who are trying to do what is best for them, they must know that they are only harming themselves. Texting and having some conversations on my cell is fun, and it is important to have some time to wind down and relax, as well as communicate with others, but we mustn’t waste our time doing so.
    Right now I am reading your book, and I am so impressed with the ideas that you have come up with, and if you are reading this, I would like to commend you for your fantastic work to enhance the lives of teens worldwide. Hopefully I will be attending your concert on July 7th, and I look forward to hearing many more of your ideas!

  • i just don’t get why people text all the time! I don’t have a cell phone and I’m living without it. I love your web site and thank your for writing this article!

  • I totally agree with Sarah, and I’m in the same scenario. I have enough with just one email… How do people get by with a twitter, facebook, myspace, digg, blogger, tumblr, two or three emails, texts from all those people that follow them on blog, etc…

  • I with Sammy. I have one email and i’m fine. My friend has at least 4 emails a phone and uses her moms facebook page,texts,etc… I don’t know how she does it.

  • You know, there was a time before cell phones. There was also a time before Facebook or Myspace or Twitter or Gmail or Blogger. So we can live without them. Personally, I find text messaging extremely tedious. I mean, you know how long it would take me to write this comment alone with all those puny little buttons?!? Hours on end. Of course it would be shorter. Kind of like this:

    U know, ther was atime b4 cell phone ther was also a time b4 fb mysp or twiter or gmail or blogg;er so we can live w/o them. personely i find text meseging like tedious i mean u know how long it would take me to rite this comment alon with all those puny litle buttons!? hours on end.

    Which would still take forever, not to mention it’s a great way to lose all your grammar skills overnight. Now I’m not saying I hate cell phones. A lot of times, it can be really helpful. But texting is so pointless.

  • One email address is enough for me!
    I have made myself a promise that I will never text because of the abuse I see today all around me. I don’t even own a cell phone yet, and I don’t really need one.

  • Holy candlesticks!!! I knew that cell phones were getting bad (anyone who’s heard Hang It Up by Michael Gaither should know) but I had absolutely no idea that things were in this state!!! Thanks for this everything you do, guys- it really makes a difference!!! Hopefully when one of y’all is old enough, you’ll be president (and make the other vice president or something.) If you do, I am DEFINITELY going to like America a lot more.

  • This is really depressing. I didn’t know that teenagers would go that far to text with that high pitched annoying tone set. If all of the students in my youth group used that ringtone, it would drive me crazy to the point that I would have to chuck something at them!

  • i find it so annoying at youth group when all the teens around me sit there and text each other and ignore me, who doesn’t have a ce;l phone.

  • Thanks for the amazing post.This has really opened my eyes to all the negative things about cell phones. It is really too bad that parents don’t even consider this stuff before letting their kids have phones. It is almost too bad that the cell phone was invented!

  • WOW!! Thank you Alex and Brett….
    So convicting! I really am on my phone too much, and worry way too much about who texts me and what I reply. I really neeed to cut back on my txts…. How sad that students would send messages of answers from a test!! And I agree with Stephanie…. That is annoying when the kids totalyy disregard the teaching and you. Trust me, I went throught the same thing! The best thing you can do is just to be a light and show them what it looks like to sit and listen. Praying for you and your youth group! =) Thank you Alex and Brett for all ya’ll do!!

  • Woah, you guys get alot of….. disrespect? On here. :-/
    I don’t have a cell phone so I really don’t have this problem, but there are plenty of other things that are distractions or take up too much time in your life also. I think this is a great point. 😀
    God Bless!
    ~Rose <3

  • i have to agree and even though i don’t text i find myself, when i do IM people on Facebook or something like that i’ll use “txt talk”. and because of that i’ve found that over time simple words i forget how to spell them. and i’ve had to train myself not to do that because like you said you loose, not only focus on what you were originally doing, but how to spell some things. like i could name numbers of friends that text ALL THE TIME and they have the hardest time in spelling, or sometimes its remembering things (which personally comes from not “doing hard things” and stretching those brain cells…but that’s a whole different conversation.) there are a LOT of side effects of text (almost) 24/7…but i think the worst is that America today has become a nation of texters, IMers, typers and not talkers. it is harder (i’ve notices) to carry a conversation WITH WORDS to some of my friends because they’ve stopped using words to communicate in a lot of circumstances, unless they’re like pressed to talk. I think the WORST occurrence i’ve seen with texting is when two people are sitting beside each other and they’re texting each other. that’s is just SAD, but that’s just my opinion….

    also i personally have no problem with texting but when its used in an unnecessary way then it becomes a burden than a blessing.

  • Thank you for taking the time to create this… it really helps me think twice about what to do when I get my cell phone. Thanks again!

  • wow. it was interseing to read about all the new things people wanted to have on their phones and how bad the things were and their motives. i loved this 🙂 thanks

  • This is a relief, I have unlimited texted, but barely send a hundred text messages a month and when I hang out with my friends, they barely have time to talk to me because they’re so busy texting. If you want to talk to that person so much, go hang out with them instead. I mean, someone else finally agrees! Yes!

  • i also have unlimited texting, and used to text allot more than i do now. however, something happened at school, and i had to stop texting certin people. this lowered the amount of texts/month drasticaly. i recomend doing this for a period of time to test it out! it helps!

  • also, i do not understand why 12 and 13 year olds need a blackberry smart-phone, at that age! it is like they are inseperable! unfortunately, this is how our generation is, all because, they do not do hard things! they are to obssessive with the easier way of texting, and not talking to other people! i realy liked this post allot, and am really hoping that others do also!

  • i wudnt mind a phone and i need one to call my mom and to call the library to return books and plenty of other reasons.i mean spend less time on them but ther are times when we need them.anyways y wud someone text like that? it is so stupid. ur not gunna lern and then ur gunna fail and for video game adicts, no more xbox,.

  • I’ve got a cell phone, but my parents have put restrictions on it. I can only have 15 contacts, and any contacts that are not on my list of 15 are blocked. Though half of the 15 are taken up by emergency and family numbers. And once my text memory fills up, my parents read all of my texts before I delete them. Now, this is only because in April of 2010, I got in HUMONGOUS trouble while i was texting a boy that to this day I have never met. This was before i had ANY restrictions on my cell phone at all. I’ve changed since then. A lot. I am much closer to God. And I have matured a lot. I love my cell phone, and I love texting. But it has caused many problems in the past for me. And cell phones are causing problems for everyone everywhere.

  • I definitley agree 110% with this! Technology is great, but it’s insanely misused. I know people who text each other when they were right beside each other! This message was great and it really focuses on todays youth. Great job guys.

  • This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn�t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you�ll definitely discover it.

  • Great post!
    However the only person I text is my girlfriend. I think because I don’t have a smart phone or ‘unlimited plan’ helps this alot.

  • This was an extremely interesting article. I was beginning to want a cell phone, but as I read this article, I am beginning to stray away. I have texting on my iPod touch, but it is limited to Wi-Fi connected areas. It is nice to keep in touch with friends throughout the week. Like another few people said, it is a personal heart issue. Technology is wonderful…if it is not abused. Thank you for opening my eyes!

  • hay alex and bret I am 11 (today is my dads b-day) I was at your second from last REBELUTION you guys really help me I have 5 younger siblings and 1 older mick14 me11 tali7 ben6 zak4 eon2 kj9mo mom41 dad39 one dog buddy 3 ginypigs……. I went with my yoth grop niko I dont know if you can but it wold be soooooo cool if you cold come. mail me 1255 o’dell la greenwood in 46143 ellie lakes. thank you. :0)

  • Cell-phones are a useful thing, but when they get in the way of important things that’s when they start becoming a problem. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when people are on their phones during service. I saw one student raising one hand in worship and in the other she was texting her BFF. When does cell-phone use become a bad habbit, you could say? When is too much technology bad?

  • This really is one of the preferred posts that I’ve ever seen; you could possibly comprise some a great deal more tips inside the similar theme. I’m still waiting for some intriguing thoughts from your side in your subsequent post.

  • I don’t have a cell phone, but I think that they are very usefull. But they CAN get in the way of more important things. Sometimes I’ll be on my iPod touch from dinner to the time I go to bed, and then I’ll stop and wonder where the evening went. I do love that contact with your friends, though.

  • Melodie,
    I agree with you, “suit up, show up” isn’t enough to be successful. It’s necessary, but not sufficient. You really do have to take ACTION. And taking any form of action puts us way ahead of the competition, so keep on keeping on!
    Dr. Adam Sheck recently posted..Love Is Not Enough!

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  • I don’t have a cell phone because It would be to hard for me to do good in school, stay pure, and obey God. I dodn’t think cell phones are wrong, if used for the right thing. Am I the only one who gets talked down to because of my convictions?

  • I don’t have a cell phone, though I use my mom’s if I need it. I just don’t understand why some people are so addicted to texting; I don’t really like to at all, but some of my friends literally text all day. Weird…

  • I thought that post was eye opening! I don’t have a cell phone, but I wish I had one. I want one not because it’s cool (it is) but because I want to be able to contact my friends who never check email and who I never see and also many of my friends who say they only text and won’t answer their phones…weird. I wouldn’t do all those things that those kids were asking for. I can’t believe kids think up these things they want with there cell phones. What has happened to our world?

  • That is really eye opening and even though i dont have a phone, though it seems everyone else i know does, i know i addicting it can be. If there is one thing i want to make sure of when i DO get a cell is that its not
    1-being used for things i know i shouldnt
    2-becomes the focus of my life
    3-that God is the focus of my life

    Rachel Grace-i know how you feel and its very hard and seems hopeless at times but if we stay strong and keep our eyes on God we will stay strong and pure (i justed realized how long ago you posted and that you might never see this reply but i just wanted to let you know in case you ever did) =)

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →