There are a variety of addictions.

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Sex
  • Gambling
  • Tobacco
  • Social Media

I’m quite confident there are others, but these are a few that quickly come to mind.

However, there’s another one that I have observed which hardly anyone is talking about or deem serious enough to discuss.

The cell phone!

Sign I saw in a doctors office this last week

Some of us need to stand up at an AA meeting and say, hello my name is_____ and I’m a cellphone-aholic!

A few years ago I was with a top leader in an organization with which I worked and we had taken a couple and their adult child to lunch to discuss a program their child was interested in. While we were eating lunch hearing their story and their heart for their child, I noticed this leader texting under the table while trying to look like he was listening to this couple share. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I have lost count of the number of times I have been in a meeting with one person or several when a cell phone vibrated and everyone looked to see if it was theirs. All phones were on the table or at ready access in pockets. When it vibrates, it’s not unusual for the person to get up from the table and go to a corner of the room or out of the room to answer it as they excuse themselves from what often is an important meeting.

On more than one occasion I have been in a meeting with one person which was scheduled when the cell phone went off and the person said something along the lines of “Excuse me, but I need to take this call.” Really, I thought. So whoever is on the other end who called you spontaneously is more important to you then I am who set up this meeting and planned it a ways back. I can recall one situation where the person on the other end of the call on their cell phone took all of the time that was set aside for me and I had to schedule another meeting.

I have coached some pastors whose wives are begging them to power off their cell phone when they get home so they could spend quality time with their family; but they told me they simply couldn’t do that.

More than one person I meet with sets their phone on the table and every time it lights up they are taking their eyes off me and looking to see what/or who just arrived on their phone: broken conversation, broken concentration and at times broken trust.

It’s addictive, it’s inconsiderate, it’s rude, it’s distracting and, I believe, dishonoring to the Lord; and it’s a really bad habit that sends a really bad signal to those present with us–whether it’s one or many.

Houston, we have a problem!

When I go to a movie, it’s standard fare now to be told (on the screen) not to text or talk during the movie. At some churches, part of the rolling announcements encourages all of us to turn off our cell phones.

Recently I sat for a little over two hours in the office of a very influential and well- known leader. His cell phone was on the table the entire time. It was face down and didn’t ring a single time I was with him. Cannot this be the norm rather than the exception?

Hello, my name is______ and I’m a cellphone-aholic.

Confess it, repent of it and stop it!

Can we not, before the Lord whom we love and serve, make a decision to set our phone on airplane mode, power it off or at least set it for “do not disturb” and turn it over when we are with others? Is there anything that important (for the most part) which can’t wait an hour or so? Or is the addiction so strong that we can’t ignore the vibrating phone?

Do I hear an Amen out there, anywhere?