Did you know that nearly 80% of adults in the US own a smartphone? That’s nuts! Just a few years ago it was around 30%. Smartphones are getting better every year. They have better cameras, longer battery lives, clearer screens, and smoother designs.

I recently got Apple’s new iPhone XR. It’s an amazing upgrade from my nearly-three-year-old SE. But I’ve noticed something. Since I’ve gotten a new phone, I’ve been spending more time on it. Thanks to Apple’s new Screen Time tracker, my screen time has nearly doubled! Yikes…

Have you seen the photographs of people with their smartphones edited out? Photographer Eric Pickersgill took photos of people in their everyday lives with their smartphones and then edited the devices out of the pictures. It’s humorous in a disturbing and uncomfortable way. You can check out his full gallery here: https://www.removed.social

Every new year people try to make goals for self-improvement and such. Most fail miserably. But I don’t think that means we should quit setting and attempting to achieve certain goals.

For 2019, I want to become better at using my iPhone.

Smartphones are an AMAZING tool. There is far more computing power in your pocket than it took to land a man on the moon. Unfortunately, for many of us our smartphones have gone from being tools to becoming masters. We find ourselves being used by our technology more than we actually use it. We consume more than we create. And this is worst through social media sites that are run by advertisers.

In his book The Next Story, author Tim Challies poses the question: Do you own your technology or does it own you?

In today’s digital world, we are not the consumer, we are the product. Your attention, your personal information, your ideas and opinions, are all being sold to the highest bidder. All that info is being plugged into an algorithm, the sole purpose of which is to keep your attention for longer.

You’re probably reading this on a smartphone or tablet right now through a link you saw on social media!!!

Ok, deep breath…

So for 2019, would you join me in becoming better at using our smartphones instead of being used by them? Studies show that we would all be happier, more productive, and higher functioning humans if we would just put down our phones, sign off of social media, and actually live our lives.

Tomorrow I’ll share the smartphone apps I have that I intend to use to help make my life better in 2019. Yes, it’s possible. Like I said, our smartphones are incredible tools! So let’s use them rather than being used by them.