By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president


Did you know that our cell phones are make people think less positive towards us? Did you know that your smart phone actually reduces cognitive abilities even when it is turned off?

We will get to that in a moment….

Recently I attended the North Pacific Union Pathfinder Camporee. Surrounded by 1,600 Pathfinders from around the union, it was a great event in Montana. Talking to the many Pathfinders from Washington Conference was great.

While there I remembered my own days as a Pathfinder and the great memories of that time. I also remembered a phrase that we used at the beginning of each Pathfinder gathering. The captain of the different units would report to the director using this phrase: “All present and accounted for.” It simply meant that the entire unit was in attendance. They were ready for whatever the director had planned.

It is important to be present and accounted for in so many areas of life.

Our families need us to be present both physically and mentally. Our workplaces need us to be present and engaged. Our churches need us to be present and ready to serve.

Back to those wonderful smart phones.

The McCombs School of Business conducted studies on the effect of cell phones. The studies showed that a persons’ cognitive abilities were significantly reduced when your cell phone was nearby even when it was turned off.

Participants who participated in the study who had their phones in another room outperformed those with their phones on the desk. They even did better than those with their phones in their bag or on their desk.

In fact, the mere presence of our phones on the table during a meeting or a meal makes the other person feel less positive towards us (A Minute to Think, page 150).

Please understand smart phones have certainly added many positive things in our world. I use mine all the time. However, relationships with God and people are way more important than our relationship with our smart phones.

God wants us to be present and accounted for in our quiet time with Him.

Not distracted by the latest alert on the phone. Our spouses want us to be present and accounted for and not constantly glancing at the phone with a fake urgency to answer the latest text message. Our families need real conversations by those who are present and accounted for instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media.

So this week leave the phone in the other room when you are having private devotional time. Turn it off when you are sharing the evening meal with family. Chose to look your coworkers in the eye and fully engage instead of answering that email on the phone during a meeting.

Be present and accounted for as you serve God and your fellow human beings.



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