Some years ago I began asking teenagers if their music would pass the “Friend Test.” What I mean by that is if a person was to take the lyrics to your favorite songs and say them to you in a normal conversation would you consider them a good friend? This doesn’t answer all the questions a person should ask about music, but I think it is a good starting point. In the words of John Pearson, our High School LifeGroup Leader, “what made Lil Wayne so mad?”
Following the same logic, I would like to encourage you to ask the same question of your electronic devices. Do they pass the “Friend Test?” Over the next few weeks, I want to help bring some of you to a place of decision. I believe that you need some help and accountability with the electronic device you are reading this blog post on. You need help because the two of you do not make good friends at this time in your life. It isn’t necessarily because they are evil or because you are weak. It is just a matter of timing in life. You just may not be ready for this friendship.
Before I was able to publish this post an advertisement popped on a video that Stephanie was watching. It was for the new Iphone X. I didn’t catch all the words to the song in the background but it said “you are my best friend.” It was a commercial with a person holding a phone with a song about being best friends in the back ground. That is just straight up weird! It is also ironic that it played while I was typing this to you.
Let’s look at some of the ways we know that we need to distance ourselves from a friend and then apply it to your phone. Here are a few examples. Maybe you could add to the list.
- Your friend makes you feel bad because they are always making you compare yourself to the life or the looks of other people.
- Your friend causes you to say things that you wouldn’t normally say.
- You are obsessed with your friend and don’t make time for other people in your life.
- Your friend is always encouraging you to watch videos and look at pictures you know would not be pleasing to God.
- You are sneaking off and spending time with you friend when you know those in authority have told you to avoid them.
- Your time with your friend is distracting you and keeping you from being able to accomplish the stuff you need to be getting done.
- Your friend never helps you out. They never play songs that help you. They never read you the Bible. They constantly take without giving. Here are five ways your phone could be helping.
- Your friend is your contact to another bad friend. (Okay this one is complicated, so I will just come out and say it – you are talking to people you shouldn’t and the only way you can is your phone.)
I understand that there will probably be a time in your life when having a phone, laptop, and maybe even a tablet will not be optional for you. It would be hard to be a lawyer or a stay-at-home mom without a phone. But I remind you that you are neither of those right now. For most of you, having a device is still for recreational puposes. You should consider if it is a liberty that you should take or avoid. I think this “Friend Test” might help you.
What is missing from the list? What are you doing to make sure you and your “friend” maintain a healthy relationship?. What are some of the questions you ask yourself to make sure you have not become dependent on a bad friend?