March 4, 2013
So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Every generation has answered the question based on very sketchy data. My claim: little boys (my personal experience pool) have stayed pretty consistent: policeman, fireman or athlete. The available options aren’t very apparent when you’re under-10; the approved list of professionals isn’t deep at that age.
Life gets complicated, quickly; little boys – and, girls – grow up, and their connection with their world expands. Snag a 13 year old today and ask the question; what will you hear?
Here’s a new one: “App Creator.” Turn the clock of history back just a decade, and “App Creator” would have brought limited response from a Google search. But now…
Today’s Wall Street Journal pulls back the curtain on an industry that didn’t exist pre-iPhone. When Steve Jobs unveiled the touchscreen smart phone and its ability to run apps, the planet shifted its axis. In June of 2007 – less than six years ago – Apple announced that they would allow third-party creators to sell their spawn through iTunes. The app was out of the bag…
According to the WSJ report, the lowly app – average price is $3.18 for an iPhone – is about to become a $25 billion industry. The average user spends two hours each day using apps. Based on a minimum wage of $8/hour, that makes the use of apps a $1 trillion national pastime.
But… that isn’t quite accurate, is it? I mean, apps make us more efficient. Time spent using apps makes us more efficient, so that $1 trillion isn’t lost, but rather invested… right?
Data Point: Top Ten iPhone Apps: 1) Angry Birds; 2) Fruit Ninja; 3) Doodle Jump; 4) Cut the Rope; 5) Angry Birds Seasons; 6) Words with Friends; 7) Tiny Wings; 8) Angry Birds Rio; 9) Pocket God; 10) Camera +. The only tool on the roster came in at #10; all of the rest are… games.
I’m constantly bumping up against people who are culturally punch-drunk. Battered by the unrelenting upper-cuts of the surrounding models of unchallenged paradigms, they have no time for the things that grow out of a biblically-based Kingdom focus. The top two reasons for not investing the time and money to explore, expose and exploit their Kingdom Calling? Not enough time… or money.
And then… the iPhone app. Time and money going down the black hole of digital smartphone games. What would God say?
“Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ. Wake up from your sleep, climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants,” (Ephesians 5:11-17, The Message).
Even Socrates – apart from biblical truth – exhibited his profound wisdom: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” (in Plato, Dialogues, Apology). How many things do we allow to find a place in our lives and continue, unchallenged? Where do we spend – as contrasted with invest – our time?
Americans are game crazy (we’re just weeks from the Final Four!), whether on the phone screen or the flat screen. I wonder: What would it take for American Christians to become God Crazy?