I carry a large portion of my brain in my pocket – and most likely you do too. According to a recent European and U.S. study by software security firm Kaspersky Lab, Internet and mobile devices are causing users to store information on devices we once stored in our head. They conclude that losing your phone would be akin to losing your memory.
I’ve been saying this for some time. When I don’t know the answer to something, I reach for my phone and say, “Let me check my external brain.” Gone are the days of memorizing facts, quotes, ideas, concepts, or even things as simple as phone numbers.
More than half of European adults surveyed could not remember their children’s mobile phone numbers and needed to consult their smartphone and 1 in 3 could not recite their partner’s mobile number. Across all 6,000 respondents, 57% could not remember the phone number of their place of work. 91% of Americans are dependent on the Internet and devices to remember things, and consider them as an extension of their brain. Among 16-24s, more than half said their smartphone holds all the information they need to remember.
But what happens to our brains when we stop memorizing and rely on an external device to remember? After while, wouldn’t we begin to display the same forgetfulness as those suffering from dementia – if not for our phones? Will our brains atrophy like unused muscles do?
Even more troublesome would be the consequence of not following a major principle of the Christian faith as articulated by King David when he declared, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”
Hiding God’s Word in our hearts (minds) will help us to avoid sinful thought patterns and sinful actions. The opposite then must be true that NOT hiding God’s Word in our minds will result in sinful thinking and sinful actions. And while there are tons of Bible apps out there, nothing on or about our smart phones can help us with this. As Christians, we must discipline ourselves to fill our minds with God’s Word. Our smart phones just won’t cut it on this one.