No App For That

With information and our desires at our fingertips, self-control and discipline has become harder to maintain.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:6

According to a new survey by Apigee, 23% of app users “would be unable to feel happy” without the apps on their phones. Of the 762 surveyed, 82% of those can't go a day without critical apps; 85% admit they would rather give up drinking water than delete all of their mobile apps.

In another study by the University of Missouri, iPhone separation can lead to "physiological anxiety" and "poor cognitive performance."

"The results from the study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of our selves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of 'self' and a negative physiological state."

In today's fast paced world of digital media, there is an app for everything. From alarm clocks, GPS navigators, video games, online shopping and bar code scanners to an app where you can become your favorite Kardashian. Your smart phone is a digital one stop shop for pretty much anything and everything. I can see why some people could quickly become dependent on their smartphone, get lost in the digital world and unravel without it. Apple’s trademarked tagline for mobile apps is “There’s an App for that.”

Below are ten things that you cannot download on your smartphone:

1. Creativity – Sure there are meme generators and photo collage makers but have you ever made a basketball goal by nailing a milk crate to a telephone phone pole because there was no basketball court in your neighborhood? Have you ever snuck your father’s vice-grips to turn on the fire hydrant in your community because it was 95 degrees and no one had money to go to the pool? As an 80's kid born and raised in the inner city, we became creative when it came to entertainment. There are three things that make you creative. Lack, boredom and hunger. If you have a smartphone you are probably not lacking, bored or hungry. Comfort and convenience has the ability to stifle your creativity.

2. Patience - I remember as a child having to actually write out a letter, mail it and wait for a return letter. To make a phone call, the only option was a rotary dial phone and if you have a friend with a number with a lot of "9's" in their phone number, you would be there awhile. Turning on the television meant getting up, walking over to the TV, turning the dial, messing with the rabbit ears and then walking in the kitchen to grab aluminum foil to get better reception. We had to put in work to accomplish the smallest of tasks. The digital age has made us forget those days and unfortunately, today's generation has not even experienced it. It suppresses our natural virtue that needs exercised called “patience.” That is why road rage has spiked and you can find an anger management class offered at every organization. Patience keeps us off of the ledge and our mugshot off of the six o'clock news due to an altercation at the stoplight.

3. Self-Control – With information and our desires at our fingertips, self-control and discipline has become harder to maintain. When we forget our phone is in our hands, those ringtones and vibrations love to remind us. Even when we lose our phone, in our desperation we run to log onto iCloud to “Find my iPhone.” Let’s face it, technology has brought out a new form of addiction in all of us.

4. Love - There are dating apps, wedding planning apps and you can order flowers for your special someone from your smartphone. But unless you actually spend quality time looking into their eyes without any distractions, your loved one will feel neglected and unappreciated. The opposite of love is not anger, it is indifference. When you pay more attention to your smartphone than your love interest, your actions are sending the message that you may not love them. For those who are single, technology is a great way to meet new people but at some point, you have to get out and let the universe do it's work.

5. Character - Your character is developed by navigating through life’s difficult challenges. There are times when you have to figure out how to react and respond to tough circumstances. If you run to find an app for every problem, you will have a hard time developing your character and maturing into a well-rounded individual that can solve problem independently.

6. Wealth - If you are an app developer, you can become very wealthy. In May 2013, Apple announced that it hit its 50 billionth app download. There are close to 700,000 apps developed but there are billions of consumers. The term "consumer" derives from the root word “consume” which means to expend, use up and squander. It is the opposite of develop which means to begin, produce and create.

Our phone apps have robbed of us those beautiful moments of solitude and privacy where you celebrate nothing but the air in your chest and the beat of your heart.

7. Wisdom - Yeah, you can download the dictionary, and have a Google return for pretty much any question or issue that you have but can it give you wisdom? Wisdom is knowledge applied and your smartphone can only help you become smarter, not wiser. To become wise, you have to take all of that information, get up and actually apply it.

8. Peace - Sadly, technology has also stolen our peace. When was the last time that you put away your phone to enjoy a meal without snapping a photo? That you went to the gym without taking a selfie in your yoga pants? That you dined at your favorite restaurant without “checking in.” Our phone apps have robbed of us those beautiful moments of solitude and privacy where you celebrate nothing but the air in your chest and the beat of your heart.

9. Joy - There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a feeling that you get during periods of bliss and is often circumstantial. It is felt when you are in a good season of your life. Joy, on the other hand is contentment despite of circumstances and season. It is a feeling of gratitude and thankfulness, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to others.

10. Time - Last but not least, time is the one thing we can never get back. Today, you can walk into a home with a family of five and see them together in the same room but all on their ipads, video games and iphones. Although they are sitting together, their minds are worlds apart. They forget to ask about one another’s day, sit at the dinner table and the parents rarely monitor the product that is stimulating the minds of their children. There are many things that money can’t buy and apps can’t provide but time is one of the most important things on the list. Couples and families should unplug and disconnect from their devices at least once a week and reconnect with one another.

There is a reason that Apple’s famous logo is an apple with a bite taken out. Like Eve, it is enticing to think that we can have all knowledge and information at our fingertips. But being all-knowing is merely an illusion that robs us of joy, contentment as well as quality time with our loved ones and God.

Apps are a beautiful thing. But let's not forget that technology was created to bring convenience into our lives so that we have more quality time, not for life and quality time to become inconvenient.