Articles ipod_best_friend

Published on September 3rd, 2005 | by Alex and Brett Harris

My iPod Is My Best Friend




This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series The Myth of Adolescence

In Part 2 of my series, The Myth of Adolescence, I examined the effects of our media-saturated culture on our youth. I argued that it is squeezing young people into a mold where the attainment of Christian character and competence is nearly impossible, while offering in its place an ersatz maturity—technological, sexual, and superficial in nature—that will result in a generation of empty heads and shallow hearts.

My cry was not one of hopelessness. Rather, it was a challenge to my fellow young people to recognize that their restraints are illusory, not inherent, and to free themselves from the shackles of our culture’s expectations.

In response to that challenge, one of my good friends commented with an excellent follow-up question. In short, her inquiry was this: “How do we alert our fellow young people to what is happening? How do we fight this on a larger scale?”

Thank you, Lauren, for taking the time to really think about these things and ask questions. When our fellow young people take the truths that Brett and I have been discussing and begin to act on them, it validates everything that we’ve been talking about.

[Note: If you have not yet read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I would strongly encourage you to do so before continuing.]

Before we can change the culture, we must first change ourselves. To do so, let me begin by outlining a foundational concept of a rebelution.

In Proverbs 13:20 we read, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” The meaning of this verse is clear. To put it plainly, we become like our companions. This is a simple but foundational truth. For us as young people to make our peers our primary source of companionship is to effectively pool our ignorance and foolishness. To walk with the wise is to walk with those who are older, wiser, and godlier than we are.

However, we will not glean the full wisdom of this verse unless we recognize that our companions are not limited to just people. Our companions include, not only our friends and family members, but also the books, magazines, newspapers, and comic books we read, the movies and TV shows we watch, the video games we play, the blogs and websites we surf, and the music, radio shows, and podcasts we listen to.

In today’s information-charged world, many people spend more time with these non-human “companions” than with their peers. According to a study published by Business Week, the average American spends 9.5 hours a day watching TV, going to movies, renting videos, reading magazines, listening to music, and surfing the web. This was in 1998. Since then, Internet use has skyrocketed, DVDs have supplanted VHS, and the iPod has ushered in a new era of isolation from fellow human beings.

The mistake that many young people fall into is this: while we may be careful as to who our human companions may be, we give little to no thought regarding the countless other companions that we constantly allow to influence us. This is why media, of any kind, is such a powerful societal weapon. We do not think of it as a companion.

If we truly wish to walk with the wise, we must choose the media we read, watch, and listen to, with the same care we apply to the selection of our friends… Because, they are our friends.


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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Lauren Hammerstrom

    Wow, that was awesome! I have never even thought about having media as our friends. Its so true though. I have been reading through proverbs in my devotion and just recently came across that verse. I read with the mind thought of, walking with the wise as walking with wise peers and freinds. I would have never thought about walking with media and technology. Thanks for pointing out that major detail to me!
    God Bless!
    Lauren

  • Excellent job…I’m looking forward to reading more from both of you…

  • Jake

    Wow, that\’s a really awesome post. But I\’m going to have to ask a question about this…what now?

    Assume for a second we, as teens, really get it. We are watching/listening to the right things, choosing our friends wisely etc. But what do we really need to do to affect the people around us?

    The blanket statement most would make sounds something like this: \”Just be a light to the world.\” Alright, cool, I need to be a light! Now, how do I do that?

  • Right on, Jake. Exactly.

    This post was preliminary, foundational, etc… Now that we have the basics down (changing ourselves), we come to the answer to Lauren’s original question. I had to cut my response down into smaller sized posts, otherwise no one would read it, and I wouldn’t have time to fully develop each section. This is a series, and we’ll be addressing the “what now?” question in detail in the near future.

  • Jake

    Awesome, can\’t wait to read it!

  • Lauren Hammerstrom

    Hey,
    I was thinking another thing that our society has become very good “friends” with is food. Its starting to be very noticable. Like Proverbs said we need to walk with the wise…and as you added, with technology. We also need to be wise with what we eat. Its not bad to eat sweets every once in a while for a treat, but when thats all we eat…its not good.
    My mom is an amazing cook and she has trained our family extremly well into not being picky and unhealthy eaters. That was just another aspect in a way we can be wise.
    God Bless!
    Lauren

  • Oh, wow. That picture is just WRONG. (laughs)

  • Quinn

    As my old buddy Darth would say “Most impressive”. You have a wonderful way with words. Normally as a very strong auditory learner I have to read something this high blown (at least for me with a public school education) out loud, but you can sound “muy intelligente” without killing me.

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  • You can’t go into a debate without experiencing and fully understanding your opponent’s point of view.

    A flu vaccine actually injects you with a virus in order to defend you from it.

    When my friend read and watched “The Da Vinci Code” and agreed with what it said, I wouldnt have a foot to stand on unless I had experienced it for myself.

    Sometimes, you have to be exposed to these “negative” influences in order to attain positive outcomes. Paul wrote, “To the Jews I become like a Jew, to those under the law I became like one under the law… I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I may win over some.” (1 Cor. 9:19) Paul is telling us that its not a sin to understand the world. It is not wrong to experience it. It is only wrong to succumb to it. In an earlier blog, you commented that you believe that teenagers should be able to handle more responsiblity. Well, here is the perfect opportunity. Let them
    put non-christian artists on their ipod. Let them go on myspace. Let them go to a pg-13 movie (i recommend ‘Casino Royale’). These things will only define them as human beings and make them stronger for the experience. It will also help them realize the perspective of those who are outside of the christian world looking in, and enable them to honestly and truly connect with said people. Obviously, anything can be overdone. Yes, 9.5 hours spent on tv, movies, internet, is excessive. But the fact is, I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this website and, while much more positive then other sites I could be on, I’m still giving in to that “isolation” spoken of.

    Anyway, I think I had a point somewhere in there. If your choice is to join a monestary and live a completely pure life, then by all means, do so and more power to you. But if you choose to lead the normal American lifestyle, I don’t think that it is necessary to rid yourself of all that is the world, for these things not only help deifine you and make you stronger, but they also help you to understand the viewpoint of those around you who don’t know Christ. My father’s counter to my thoughts was this:
    “I don’t need to open up the lid of a sewer to know what’s inside of it.”
    Good point.
    But sometimes people you love are down there in that sewer walking around in it, and someone needs to go get them.

  • Josh Heavin

    Excellent work guys, not just on this article but the whole website. On the bit about isolation… ever read the book fahrenheit 451? The book emphasizes a future where people are constantly either plugged in or being entertained, leaving them unable to think for themselves. Certainly something the Rebelution is fighting.

    Peace, Grace and Love

  • Tory

    About watching 9.5 hours of TV a day in 1998, I read in a facts book that the average American will have spent 9 years of uninterupted viewing by the time he’s I think it was 60 yrs. old! It scares me that we waste our life in this way. My Mom and Dad got rid of our TV a long time ago, and when I’m over someone’s house and I see what’s on there, I’m REALLY glad they did!!!

    Tory

  • Andrew Sparks

    Hi!! i have a older cousin who has an ipod and sometimes you can not even get his attention to talk to him. It gets really annoying at times.I also agree with Tory about the T.V. some of the trash that is on there is not even fit for adults most of the time.

    Keep up the good work you are doing. GOD BLESS

  • Hey,
    that was awesome
    i had never thought of it that way. yeah we should choose our media very carefully just like our friends. God bless ya,
    Stace

  • Elisabeth Gruber

    Alex– you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that when young people make our peers our primary source of companionship, we end up with a pool of our ignorance and foolishness.

    To Schlitt: You do not need to necessarily “experience” the other person’s point of view in order to refute or debate it–you should know what they think about the subject…

    You are correct in saying it is not a sin to UNDERSTAND or KNOW ABOUT the world, but it is a sin to EXPERIENCE the world. I do not need to experience getting hit by a train in order to tell somebody that it is not healthy to stand in front of a moving train, neither must i do srugs so that i can tell addicts that drugs and drug abuse is bad. I wouldnt have to be an ex-witch or have been involed with wicca, just so that i can tell witches or other people that witchcraft is a sin. The Bible has already told me that it is wrong. I dont have to experience the sins of this world to know that they are wrong, or to tell other people that sin is wrong.

    Why experience sinful things in order to tell other people that something is wong or evil? God wants us to have NOTHING to do with sin (that includes experiencing it). God _hates_ all evil and wrong and sinful things, so He wouldnt tell us it is ok as long as we experience that evil in smaller doses, or have a good intentions about it.

    The evil is still evil, and the sin is still sin… we dont have to mar our hearts and minds because we think that is the only way to refute the wrong of this world.

    Besides, responsibility does not include tainting one’s mind with movies encouraging teenage sexuality, homosexuality, crude behavior, perverted jokes, and sinful and lustful mindsets. Nor does it include giving excuse to hear musicians who sing about how “cool” and sin is.

    You’re right though… it WOULD define them as humans… but it would define them as hypocritical Christian humans, who say they love God and follow him, yet watch and listen to wicked things. who do they mouthwork of Christianity, but whose life reflects otherwise. It has commonly been said “What doesnt kill me only makes me stronger”. that is not the kind of risks a Christian would be taking; especially when dealing with something so delicate and special as our walk with Christ.

    Even as a Christian young lady, when i see commercials for perverted movies or commercials, or even have seen a movie that turned out to be not so good, i feel alienated from God (out of my own choice) because i feel too unclean to be before the Holy God. I of course have to resolve that, but it doesnt strengthen my relationship with God… it hurts it. And i’m sure many other Christians have felt the same way.

    Philippians 4:8
    And finally brothers (and sisters), whatever is noble, whater isright, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy,- think about these things.

    You had said that spending a fair bit of time on this site is giving in to that “isolation”, i would have to disagree. This is not some meaningless drivel meant only to entertain or provide temporary amusement or occupy time—it is a way to receive spiritual enrichment from other believers that will help us with our walk with God and with fellow believers, and in our seemingly short time on this sinful world, and how to make the most of that time (for Christ of course).

    (Alex- _PLEASE_ correct that paragraph if i have misspoken…)

    Deo et pax vobiscum,
    (God and peace be with you [all])

    Elisabeth J. Gruber

  • Kirsten Gruber

    Alex, you are completely correct.

    To Schlitt– It is correct that you need to know what you are debating about. True, you need to understand your opponant’s view. Someone who wishes to debate must first know the subject about which they are debating. They would never simply walk into the debate room and start arguing their side of the story without first understanding what they are opposing.
    It is not a sin to understand the world. But the fallacy occurs when one thinks that they must expirience the world in order to argue against it. If it is true that expiriencing the world will make you stronger, how is it that so many Christians who have tried that before have fallen down the wrong path?

    Schlitt, you mentioned in your paragraphs that “You don’t need to open up the lid of the sewer to know what is inside it, but sometimes there are loved ones down there, and someone needs to go get them.” That may be so, but to go get them does not mean that you necessarily have to go down there with them. If you go down into the sewer to get them, you risk getting stuck down there yourself. Would it not be better to brace yourself on solid ground at the top, and pull them up? God calls us to be “fishers of men.” This does not mean that we have to go diving headfirst into perilous waters full of rip tides and snares. No fisherman would ever fish that way, because it is to easy to drown. Instead, they stay in the safety of the boat to cast their nets and patiently wait. Besides being dangerous, diving into the water is a sure way to never catch a fish.

    Alex and Brett: You have blessed so many teenagers with this website. God will in turn bless your hard work with an abundance of rewards. He will bless everything you do and hundreds of other teenagers will be able to be blessed through you two. thank you for answering God’s call.

  • I own an Ipod. Yes I do like it, but I have a good amount of Christian music on it and most of the time I’d rather listen to some Steve Fee than Jimi Hendrix. Jimi was a great musician, but recently I’ve been trying to find more Christian music that I enjoy, that also has a good message. I read many Christian books, like Hood, River Rising, The Deceivers, and Left Behind. I still feel my Ipod and my books are my idols at times. Please pray for me that I might turn and use these as an influence to become closer to God.

  • Dew

    These entries are amazing! You’ve put everything perfectly into words. Ciao!

    !~Dew~!

  • I realy liked that But I think that an ipod can help some people. Of course media has been carried a little (ok ill say it) WAY to far. But music can be one of the most encourageing things in the world. A study has been put out a year or so ago about how sme types of music can efect your SAT scores. If I remember right Classical music helped the scores a bunch. Celtic, Hyms, and some Rock had no effect. And Rap, Modern Rock, and Country lowered scores.
    Another thing is that many time music can help calm stress. Control emotions. sometimes help the brain.
    All I have to say is that dont abandon all of technology or burn your ipod just dont treat it like Gollum treats the precious. Thanks!
    ~John~

  • Tim

    That blessed muse – given by God to give His sorrowing creatures a joy worthy of their destination (to paraphrase J.S. Bach)! Like all things, music should be used with a good bit of thoughtfulness. As a musician, I try to keep the following perspective: Listening to music with thoughtfulness == good; Learning to make music myself == better; Making music with family and friends == better still; Learning to give glory to our Maker through the blessed Muse == perfect.

    To add a bit of that proverbial wisdom: Teaching another to give glory to our Maker through the blessed Muse with skill and thoughtfulness == perfect, both now and throughout all generations.

  • Cat

    I have an ipod, and i don’t idolise it!

  • SKS

    Are our sources of entertainment (music, tv shows, movies, video games, etc.) as much our friends as our human peers? First, we have to ask, what is a “friend”? According to dictionary.com, a friend is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard”. What is affection? Affection is a feeling of loyalty and trust that a person feels for another person. Regard is respect. A friend is someone you enjoy and trust, who influences you, and who’s opinion you value. In a friendship, the feeling is mutual. On this premise, things cannot become our friends.
    Now, I cannot and will not deny that things can be used in place of friends, but the reality is that these “friends” only impart a short-lived joy that is a weak copy of true, personal friendship with real people. It is the same as trying to find joy and peace in material things instead of God. We need friends just as we need God. Without them, we are missing something. As I said before, things and media may replace friends for a short time but they will soon be found wanting.
    Also, media will only influence you if you let it. We are expected to take everything in this world with a grain of salt. The world is not our home and we need to be wise enough not to treat it like one. As the Bible states in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”

  • Nicole

    SKS: I like that you brought up the verse about being as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves when we are sent out amidst the wolves. But I disagree that “things” cannot be “friends.”

    Webster has the following entry for the definition of “friend”:
    1 a: one attached to another by affection or esteem b: acquaintance
    2 a: one that is not hostile b: one that is of the same nation, party, or group
    3: one that favors or promotes something (as a charity)
    4: a favored companion
    (And then something about Quakers.)

    The first two definitions Webster gives for “affection” are, 1: a moderate feeling or emotion, and 2: tender attachment or fondness. If you lent your ipod, favorite out-of-print book or computer to a friend or sibling and they returned it to you damaged, would you ask, “What happened? What did you do?” and start examining it closely to see if it was okay and check if it still worked, or would you ask, “What happened?” and check to be sure that they were okay incase what they borrowed was damaged in the process of them tripping, falling, etc.? I know I would probably, with some people, initally and unfortunately, respond with the former caring/feeling more for the “thing” than for the person. Wouldn’t that make me fonder for and more attached to a particular thing than a particular person in that instance? Why? Because music, books, and things are favored companions to me, at times, when people fail me or betray me. Or even when I’m just bored silly. Or sometimes when I want something only comforting or agreeable and I think I am too angry or upset to seek God and find out His Will for me (although, that’s exactly when I need Him most and should seek only Him).

    We choose songs, articles, movies, books, etc. just the same as many of us choose friendships — we choose the ones that support our own beliefs, emotions, thoughts, or experiences.

    And just like people as friends, we for the most part can’t help being influenced by or learning from the media, etc. we choose for companions. Even if we try our best not to “let it” affect us, it does. Just as if you watched a movie with a dirty joke in it about (I’m going to be random) elk. Even if you don’t laugh and you don’t think it’s funny or agree that it should have been said, the next time you see an elk or hear something about an elk chances are you will remember the joke. Your mind has been perverted into thinking of such things. And of course God can cleanse us if we go to Him sincerely asking Him to. But I believe that we need to remove such influencing things from our lives in order to diligently seek, and to continue to want to seek, purity, if we are to attain it to a degree that would be pleasing to Him and that would bring honor to Him.

    Also, I think your point about things in place of friends is rightly applied to earthly friendships in general. No friendship or relationship will ever satisfy us except the one we have personally with God. They can take its place momentarily as pale substitutes of what we really need, but they will never, ever be anything more than supplimental to the Friendship/Relationship we were created to enjoy with God. We need God more than anything. We don’t need friends anywhere close to how we need Him. For example, take away all your friends, your family, your money and your possesions (all necessities to a degree for some of us to “live” at a good standard) and what do you have? You still have all you need in God. He will provide what you need and all you need. To take it further, take away air, food and water. What do you have? Well, you’d die, right? Then what? As a Christian you’d have God, in Heaven. Would that be enough? By all means! Even if your friends hadn’t yet died and gotten there too? Even if your friends weren’t Christians and never made it there? By all means, God would still beyond satisfy your needs!

    And amen to Elisabeth and Kirsten Gruber’s responses to the earlier comments.

  • Nicole

    One more note:

    If you use the analogy that the color black is bad and the color white is good, consider that all gray IS tainted by black and thus is also bad — or in other words, it is just as, or more, dangerous than black.
    Such as if we consider the belief that “there is no God” to be black — lies, and the belief that “there is a one, true God” to be white — truth. If we take the pure truth that there is a God and add lies (bad/black) to it by saying that someone besides God is God or that there is more than one God, then do we not create something more dangerous and harder to refute than downright black in this gray area of truth tainted by lies?

    Likewise, I believe small, gray-area doses of sin or experiencing the world can be subtle in their dangers and harder to separate from what is good, and thus tougher to resist.

  • Taylor

    Great job!
    Yes! anything that touches us in any way will affect us.
    Good or Bad.
    And when you come in contact with the bad it does change your mind horribly, but it is a wonderful process when you come to God and GET RID OF ALL THE THINGS THAT AFFECT YOU THE WRONG WAY and let him heal your mind.
    God Bless

  • Annie

    Hey guys
    I think you hit the nail on the head. However, I disagree with some of you who have written comments. I do not believe that media is in and of itself evil. I do believe that it is important to screen what you watch and listen to. I have and Ipod, and the majority of the music is Barlowgirl or Relient k and other worship songs. I think the most important thing is to make sure that the music or tv you expose yourself is not in any way detremental to your Christian walk.
    I do not agree that experiencing the world is sin (depending) , I think allowing the world to permeate the important aspects of your life is where it becomes dangerous.

  • I think that when you have an addiction to something like video games, your ipod, television, or something like that, it could be pulling you away from Christ, I can understand how it can pull you away because it has happened to me. Me and my brother Jes, used to sneak into my sisters room ( who was at college) and get on her TV to play video games for at least two hours, also, after we were all done with school (we homeschool.) we wouls practicly BEG my mom to get on our gameboy DS. By now, we both have sold ALL of our video games to the local gamestore. my friends still bring their DS to church all the time. I don’t like video games at all anymore. I now know that they will pull you away from Christ and you would not be focused on anything accept beating your brand new mario game. My sister still plays some video games at school, but not much at all.
    -Eavan

  • Is that toilet real? if so SICK. It apalls me that someone would use electronics that much.

  • paige

    that was some great points guys! keep up the good work. :)
    by the way I have to agree, that toilet thing was WEIRD. =/
    good illustration though. 😀

  • Naomi

    Hi! My name is Naomi. I have been homeschooled all of my life and I live at home with my Mom and Dad and 10 other siblings. (None of us are adopted.) 😀

    I agree that it is wise to be careful of what you watch, read, and listen to. And be careful in your choosing of the friends that you hang out with. All of the above should be pleasing to God. The devil can use some media to try to shake our faith and to tempt us into doing things that are wrong. The bible says:

    “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
    -James 4:7 ESV

  • Ross

    I don’t know why, but I really want that toilet!

  • Amy

    you guys are so cool. I saw you in Portland. I loved how you could just get up in frount of all the people there. I have a bible club at a High School. it’s my last year in High school. I loved that you guy where able to put all this together and that you did it, your making the world a different place. even if you have to take showers .

  • Geez I never thought of it that way that that junk is kinda destroying happyness….

  • Stephen Field

    That was one thought that struck home. I never really thought about that in that depth. I have always heard that the junk we put in our head becomes us. But I never put it as being a friend. Wow. But how do we break away from stuff we have already put into our heads with the media and other stuff? How can we more focus on Christ?

  • It’s so easy to compromise in what you allow to be your non-human friends sometimes. This post really opened my eyes. I’d never seen that Scripture that way before.
    Stephen F: I think one way you break away is by making a conscious effort to do so, then saturating your life with the Word, same way you stop eating chocolate and start eating more fruit. Try and let everywhere you turn be a reminder or instruction from the Lord. It’s really cool :)

  • kailey

    this post sorday makes me think of myself my brother my sister and the rest of my familey and freinds. it’s true all we think about is electronics

  • Beth

    Hey!

    I think that it’s great that I’m not alone in thinking that what we do with our electronics makes a difference. Lot’s of people who ‘claim’ to be Christian walk away from church on sunday, crank up the radio and drive away listening to what I think is inapropriet. We really should think more about WHAT we choose to hang out with.

    Great post and keep them coming!

  • Evan

    Awesome post.You”re right electronics have taken over our lives.The person who invented the ipod probably didn’t know what the results would be.

  • Ethan

    You guys are awesome! I love your website and I agree with what you wrote. We need to guard ourselves from the dangers of the world, but that doesn’t mean we should hide in the basement. Paul says to be in the world but not of the world. And I love the verse Naomi referred to.
    James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

  • Daniel Hayes

    Alex and Brett are right. We live in a media-saturated world. Not that media itself is bad, it’s just some of the stuff the media is throwing in our faces. Who knows what will happen when someone invents a next-generation TV or iPod. But you have to notice something: that the iPod is called an iPod, not an usPod. People are being isolated by the media, and we need to steer clear of that isolation.

  • Katie Nofsinger

    Wow! This really is neat! I now realize how much I rely on my Mp3 Player. Whenever it’s quiet on a trip with my family, I immediately turn it on, or become “plugged in” as my dad calls it. I really should be spending time with my mom, dad, and little sis, instead of being selfish and ignoring them so I can enjoy my time with my music. I love music, and it’s a part of me, so I know I can’t desert it completely, but I realize that I need to “chill” a bit and not absorb myself in it too much or too often.
    Thanks so much for this article guys!
    Katie Nofsinger

  • A. Black

    this is a great article- i love the whole rebulution website, tours, and the book Do Hard Things. It’s really awesome. I rely on my iPod nano to get away from my little brother and sometimes my parents, and no matter how hard i try. I almost always have it on for at least two hours a day! It’s agravating, but I know that there are people out there who don’t socialize, listen to it 24/7 and watch all the junk that the media puts out there or listens to music that is just gross. I really wish everyone could read articles like these and see how wrong alot of things are now adays that the media promotes.
    thanks for all the great articles and for all you’re doing for this. it’s amazing.

  • Liv Trull

    WOW! I’m could never imagine how media, electronics, etc. could be peoples’ friends. My dad uses my iPod when he goes to the gym so he doesnt have to listen to the unpure sounds of the world. When i just need to relaxe i turn on my iPod and when i’m upset or mad at a member of my family.
    thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for all of the articles you right!
    God bless you.

  • Tabitha

    Yes your right my Ipod is my best friend. .. when im with my cousin in her car and shes listening to some kind of music thats all like oh im gonna beat you with my gun .. i put it on or when im at home.. i listen to it.. i put it on to block out all the worldly things.. yeah i have some miley cyrus on my ipod but thats about it..when i need to push in to God when things are rough around my i turn to my music which is on my ipod.i usually put on like barlow girl and then go read some devotions and just pray .. my ipod is my best friend but Jesus is an even Better one..

    In his amazing name
    Tabitha

  • Hey guys!
    I just got home from my churches youth group video confrence on this book! And wow, when I heard and saw the things you said on this subject I realized you are right! I have been a child for so long of such a disfunctional family I turned to music as a way out and I LOVE music its like a best friend to me really! I dont trust people, especially because of a recent thing that happened like yesterday, now my trust level is so low, your book is also challanging me in that area.lol. Well anyway, I wrote some lyrics for a song my youth group is soon to start working on to perfeorm and I think you might be interested in seeing the lyrics because they are from what this book brought from my heart! I thank you so much for it too! And now I am even getting my once, “myyspace only” blog into a public one for people to comment, i have been wanting to get so much out and now I see how I can do it, and thanks to you I feel so….so overfilled with such emotion as I find myself posting pictures of the book around our city and people have asked me about it and wow. things have certaintly gotten so much better!
    ~Monica~

  • Hannah

    that is WAYY interesting… i think you guys are amazing.. im reading your “do hard things” book right now and im really inspired… Thanks guys.. keep it coming

  • Molly

    I really like this article because it speaks to me a lot. I went through a period of time where I really didn’t have any friends. So I constantly listened to music as a replacement and the music was violent and it affected me in a deeper way than any person ever did. I really know what it means when you say that media and other things like that can influence us just like people. I have recently rededicated my life to God and I changed myself and I even had to cut off or improve some relationships I had with other violent or sinful people but it still wasn’t enough. I still listened to that kind of music and it really does get into your head. About a week or two ago I realized that I needed to change this too so I deleted all secular music off my Ipod, I stopped watching some of the TV shows I used to enjoy and it has been very difficult because they had been such a huge part of my life for so long. But the rewards from God for doing so have just been amazing! I don’t remember a time when I was ever happier. So if you are trying to change for God don’t stop with your relationships with other people. Truly look at all aspects of your life and realize what you need to change. God will help you with the rest if you ask. Also thanks guys. I started reading you book shortly after I began making all these changes and it has really helped me and encouraged me not to give up! Keep writing! =]

  • Joe bob

    AMEN

  • mike hunt

    wut up joe

  • Joe bob

    nothin much, u?

  • mike hunt

    not much, rough day at school, u wanna bake some **nis cookies

  • Ben Dover

    ok maybe later, catch u on the flipside, p.s. you got a sister

  • Cassie

    Stephen –
    I know u posted a while back, but I didn’t see any answers to your questions. And just so happens, I may have one that will help. (my answer comes from personal experience) Fill your mind with God’s Word. Meditate on it. When I say may “meditate” I don’t mean sitting cross legged on the floor with your hands out. No,; actually think about what it says, not just read it, and ask God to take away the thoughts u had before, and replace them with ones that are pure before Him. I praying that you will defeat these thoughts.
    In Christ.

  • Monkey Girl

    wow. i’ve never really thought of things (not ppl) as “bad companions” You guys are so right! its amazing these things that i’ve never even thought about pop up on this blog and totally opens my eyes. thank u so much for these amazing articles!

  • You guys are right on the dot. But I really didn’t realize it until now.
    You Guys Rock and GOD Bless!

  • Rebekah

    wow this is amazingly true….i never realized until i read this how much time we spend on entertainment and how much influence it has in our lives- time that we should be spending w/God and let Him be our influence. thanks for sharing this…it really got my attention!
    i wasn’t allowed to have an iPod until i turned 14…i was always upset that i couldn’t have one when all my friends did but I’m so glad that my parents saw what happens to kids who live in their own “world” w/iPods– and waited until i was responsible enough to know what to do with my time.
    thanks again for sharing this :)

  • jadon .b

    love your book. every once in a while i just read it again i myself don’t have an ipod and im fine i just listen to a lot of air 1:) its a great Christian radio station

  • john bissett

    i think its totally true and its very scary road the world is heading down. i own a i-pod but i don’t really listen to it much

  • matt

    i realy think what you guys are doing is really cool. i wAnt to tell you i am not a straight a student. i get as. s and cs and love playinv guitar. i Am always hanging out with friends. My friend is a freshman and is in a band who is on itunes and has played gigs in philys trachadera. i think you need yo have fun in life and be succesful to be happy. if you have fun but arent succesful or you are succesful but dont have fun youre nothappy in my opinion. i am using my ipodright now and i love music and listen to it everyday. i once again think its great what you guys are doing and i really like youre book even though i dont enjoy most. thanks for all youve taught me

  • matt

    another thing i dont think tv and all the shows movies and songs that have bad meanings if you just remember its tv. and my friends band is called addison check them out on itunes.

  • Michelle

    I must say how absolutely awesome it is to see so many intelligent responses to an intelligent peice of writing. I love knowing that somewhere out there in this big old world there are intelligent, and might i say wise, young people! Thank you so much!

  • Andrea

    Thanx 4 making my day!!!

  • I just have to say that my moto as for “friends” that 2 minutes later gossip about you is: Don’t kiss the feet that kiss you! I mean why always want to be accepted? I know that it is our human nature to want to be loved, but if you can’t be “loved” by your “friends, then in my opinion, why don’t we try to be closer with the ones that we KNOW love us. Like God, or like family? Some people are so busy going to the moovies with “friends” or going to the mall with “friends” that we don’t have our daily prayer and Bible time with our ULTIMATE BEST FRIEND who we know loves us with an everlasting love that will never fade away like the light bulb in your lamp does, or will never change like the many moods of your “friends”. I have experienced this first hand. Last year, it seemed like all of my “friends since kindergarten had turned on me. I was too busy trying to impress my “friends” and trying to be liked (there goes that human nature again) that I didn’t spend time with God. But as I was going through this, I realized that some day, you will lose contact, or just go different ways from those people, so why not grow closer to the ones that will always be there for you. This is from my heart. We need to love our really friends, family, and God as much as poosible because we only have one life to live! =D

    -Olivia =D

  • Okay, on the part where I wrote don’t kiss the feet that kiss you, I meant to type: Don’t kiss the feet that KICK you. That might make a bit more sense… -Olivia =D

  • Thomas

    yes i do have an iPod but i realy dont use it that much. mostly christian songs. i only use my ipod when im in the gym, i hope you come out The Reblution Podcast.

  • Elizabeth

    Y’all are so right! Instead of listening to your ipod…. how about talking to the people around you. We as teens can easily tune out the people around us and lose a lot of could be friends. So instead of listening to your ipod, talk to people.

  • Georgia

    I do have an ipod and I use pretty much everyday. There was this one time in my life when God convicted me of my ‘ipod sin.’ It seemed He was trying to tell me that my ipod received more attention than I gave Him. I was selfish with my ipod, I wouldn’t share it with anyone. I’d never let anyone use it, even though, it was originally my dads’! I recharged it everyday, and made sure my ‘baby’ was happy. I even named it-Corbin! I was obsessed with it and it was beginning to become a fixation. No, Dad couldn’t use it. It was off limits to my sister at ALL times. I even made a fire plan that if the house ever did catch on fire, I’d rescue my ipod first! Looking back, I realize that my obsession with this little box of nuts and bolts was way out of hand, and a little bit humourous! God slowly led me out of this obsession, and now I don’t get paranoid if I haven’t listened to it for a day. Now that that was over, my music on it needed some cleaning up!
    I originally had Backstreet Boys and Bratz (Ha Ha!!) on it. Although nothing too shocking, I listened to the lyrics of the songs and heard the real meanings of them. Backstreet Boys is pretty much a group of guys singing about girls. In one song, one guy even mentioned straight out that he’d been seduced by a girls’ sexuality. I was only about 11 or 12 at the time, but the messages in those songs were not good. And Bratz-I can’t believe I listened to them!-were saying how you gotta ‘believe in yourself!’! So they went! It all was going well for a while-I downloaded Jump 5, Amy Grant, the usual-and then I discovered Michael Jackson. This was a fight that went on for way too long.
    I found some Michael Jackson cd’s, listened to them, liked them and then promptly downloaded them on my ipod. I thought he was a great singer and I loved his music. And while nearly everytime I listened to ‘Billie Jean’ made my stomach churn I shrugged it aside and continued listening. Then, I found some new stuff by him. It was even more suggestive than the rest of his other songs. Including an extremely suggestive title called ‘Give In To Me’. Not to mention his song ‘Scream’ which cleverly hid a swear word that I only found out later about by googling the song lyrics. Then, one night, while I was listening to ‘Give In To Me’, the guitar line hit and I felt physically sick. Tears flowed freely, and I began to see what I had done. God had given me very clear warnings and I had ignored them. Needless to say, all his songs were deleted, but the Devil wanted them back on. I struggled each day, with God saying ‘leave them off’ and Satan tempting me to put them back on. So each day, on they went and then, that night, they’d go off again. This went on and on for nearly a month, with me in the end deciding no way, and they’ve stayed off since. God won this battle for me! Praise God!! Now, I have some good Christian music on, including Superchick, Simeon, Jump 5, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Newsboys, Hawk Nelson, praise music and, I’ll admit, the Jonas Brothers. I don’t think the Jonas Brothers are too bad, they all wear purity rings and say that they’re Christians, but I’ll definitely keep an ear out, and if I find out that they’re not who they say they are, off they’ll go! So praise God in helping me overcome a huge obstacle in my life!! Jesus is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome!!!!

  • Wow that is sooo true! The media practicly spoon feeds us like baby’s! Choosing not to listen to that is a really good idea! P.S. Congrats Georgia!!! That’s awesome that you overcame that! I’m still tempted to listen to bad music sometimes, but I’m getting better. This blog was really insparational! P.P.S. You have a good taste for music for music. The Newsboys are really cool in concert and so are the Jo bro’s, Superchick, and Hawk Nelson!!!!!!!!! Peace, Love, and God! A VTer

  • RJ

    Cool text. Good job

  • J.D.

    This whole passage isn’t saying “Your iPod is evil,” we just use them for the wrong purposes. My youth pastor says “Your iPod is a tool, use it for God.” I have really taken that to heart. Keep good Christian groups on it and maybe even download sermons (my church has a sermon podcast). That doesn’t mean skip church, no iPod can replace good Christian fellowship (Sorry Apple!).

  • sharon good

    Such a good post. Thanks guys! Strive To Rest On Nothing but God-stay STRONG!

  • Mike

    I really enjoyed this blog. I was skimming through some of the comments and actually read on posted by Jake on September 5, 2005. You may have already addressed this question and if you have I need to read the response (could you direct me to your response?). The question that Jake asked was How do you be light? Act 1:8 says that when the Holy Spirit comes on us we will be Jesus’ witnesses. Well being a witness for Jesus is being that light. In order to be a witness I need to speak to other people about being a Christian. I need to speak about how Jesus has changed my life. I need to speak about how other people have been changed by Jesus. I also need to speak about how people can be changed by Jesus Christ. Then once I speak the things of Jesus I then also need to live my life that way as well. How do I live my life as a Christian. I think it is simply reading and following (aka obeying) God’s Word the Bible.

    I hope this helps people with answering the great question that Jake asked almost 4 years ago.

  • Lauren Provost

    This article is awesome. I’m working on a session I have to lead at a girls event this weekend, and I just love this blog. It’s such a great resource.
    Big thanks to everyone who contributes!

  • Melanie

    J.D. I like your thinkin’ 😀 I’m loading up my iPod with the old-time preaching that I loved in my younger days-Brother Lester Roloff is a favorite (I was at Bethesda Home as a girl, some eons ago). I have sometimes wondered what he’d think of such technology, considering his stance on television (he called it “hellevision”, LOL, but I’m quickly coming to agree), but he was OK with radio, at least Christian programming (this was before the popularity of CCM, which I know he’d not have approved).

  • Jesse

    Wow. This is quite a shock to an ipod addict like me. I go to a christian private school, and I sent out an e-mail to the school administrator and several of my friends about this website, with hope that they will look at it, and then spread it around the school. I also sent it to friends at different schools, hoping that they will spread it to their friends. Please pray for this effort to spread this website of encouragement.

  • Wilson

    What about listening to sermons on Ipods? I have been getting amazing Bible teaching from Tim Kellers church that without my Ipod I would not have been getting. Agree with the rest but I believe that unlike the rest of society I have been impacted very positively by Media and have not conformed to the patterns of this world (Romans 12)

  • Alesha

    That is sooooo good! I love this post because it’s SO TRUE! I know people that have committed themselves to being physically pure but everything else is lacking in purity (eg: they listen to trashy, non-Christian music, watch bad tv shows, talk about guys constantly, and so on).
    I wish I could get through to them that being pure is so much more than just staying physically pure.
    And a lot of times, we’re closer to our non-human friends than our human ones. It’s very important to choose all companions wisely. Cuz, you know, “We are who we hang out with!” This post is so great! 😀

    Your sister in Christ,
    ~Alesha

  • Kyuyoung “Kyle” Lee

    My name is Kyuyoung “Kyle” Lee and I am a 14 year old whose country, blood, pride, and loyalty lies in the Democratic Republic of South Korea but has even more pride, loyalty, and most importantly, faith in Christianity, the lifestyle of following our LORD Jesus Christ, my personal God and Savior. I reside in the city of Manhattan Beach, California, attend Mira Costa High School, and am the bassist and vocals for the Christian rock band “Fire In The Rain.” I agree with this post yet I feel I must say something to clarify to others. I do respect and share the opinion that most of the media is in fact controlled by people we tend to call evil or unholy, but I want to say that being exposed to the media does not necessarily mean that we are influenced. But I do, however, agree that with a lot of it, that we can be influenced. I wish to encourage those who read this post to choose to listen to the Christian media at least as much as the worldly media. The worldly media does have some people who, without their knowing, support our Christian faith and the worldly media may be used by our God. But if all we listen to is the worldly media, then our faith will collapse sooner or later. My MP3 Player is one of my friends, not because it contains just the worldly media, but because it contains good music for me to enjoy and also Christian music that are not in any way musically behind the worldly music in which I can strengthen my faith and also enjoy. To shorten everything I said and put it in shorter words, enjoy the worldly media, but choose to follow the Christian media. Thank you for reading, and I welcome any criticism, so feel free to correct me on parts that I may be wrong in.

  • Kasa

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. I really like that you pointed out that our “companions” are not just our human friends. I think that teenagers disregard how much all those other things affect their life. Its easier to take a look at the human friends you surround yourself and weed those out. I don’t think a lot of teenagers give a second thought to how the other things can do so much damage to them and they can do a lot of damage. Its a very subtle thing and it kind of just creeps in and pretty soon its taken over and changed you and rules your life and you don’t even recognize it.

  • Marissa

    Really true! Im in the beginning of your book, me and my mom are reading it together. This is deffinately a hard thing for me to acomplish not alone, but even with God its hard. Being so used to hearing music the curses a lot and weather I pay much attention or not usually it talks about other things. So please pray I can keep this promise to God that I will listen to Godly music and concentrate on him. Thank you so much!

  • Tracy9

    Hi
    I was listening to Focus on the Family yesterday as I was driving home..hearing young people talk so openly and confidently made me feel hopeful. I have a 11year old son, who thinks that sitting idly is uncomfortable and needs to be in front of a screen 99% of the time that he is awake. I offered a challenge to go “Screen Free”, for a week and by choosing other activities such as soccer, lego, going to the park, anything that he came up with. Well, surprise…the challenge was declined.
    My husband asked my son about the reason why he didn’t want to do it and the response was, ‘I don’t know’.
    A few moments later and me winking at my loving husband, our boy spoke up and said ‘I have changed my mind’. I smiled at my husband and he winked at me.
    I have observed an uneasy restlessness in my son, not sure of what to do with himself.
    We have put in place boundaries of time limits on the computer and monitor what he looks at and only the other day I said to my son that his personal hygiene and welfare is fair more important than the computer. You are more important than anything in this house. He is responsible for getting himself ready for school, making his lunch and feeding the animals before we leave each morning but he rushes through these things as an inconvienience to himself and at times forgets to brush his teeth.
    I took the privilige away from him yesterday so he could complete all his tasks.
    With the time left over he played outside with the dog and then played with his Lego.
    I am excited about buying your book and will casually mention your accomplishments.
    Thank you for your wonderful insight.

  • Jace

    I never thought that Media would ever be are best friend. I only thought that God would use it to help us in are daily lives. This may one day a big problem but who knows. All I now is it’s in Gods hands.

  • Lots of of bloggers not very pleased with this new iPad.There was 2 much hype over it and lots of people got turned off.Quite frankly, I can actually see some of the cool potential of this gizmo. Third-party applications for playing music, games, newspapers and magazine and books, all kinds of awesome stuff, but IMHO they failed to sell it right (aside from the books). It looks kinda incomplete

  • Will fox

    so true, i am a gamer and i enjoy music but my parents limit me to i hour of tv or video games, however i can listen to music if i want. i always complained about only having one hour but now that ive read this article i realize how ridiculous it would be to do any more! music and video games are fine, but they shouldn’t be an idol in your life!
    thanks again for the wake up call.

  • Muffin

    Music has gotten me out of horrible situations.
    In my world of grades, a mother on depression medication, a step-mother who should be on medication, a sister with Autism who is on anxiety medication, another sister who is on a ADHD and ADD patch, and a father who hot glues beards to his face, music is my only escape.

    Music is what keeps me going. I listen to it a lot, sleep with it on sometimes. It is my comfort, and the only thing that I feel I have much connection to.

    I do completely agree with your words on incorrect messages however. Many rap and hip/hop songs can bring corruption to any individual when in a weak state of mind. My iPod includes a good deal of songs in different languages, so I must admit, I feel the melody of the song, my music hardly ever carries much word-for-word message, but the things I hear on the radio scare me into the future I may be facing in a few years.

  • john cah

    good subject, personally I think there is to much electronics today

  • Gabreil

    most kids arnt just wasting there lives on the computer. a lot relay do things, and those that go on the computer DO learn stuff. they don’t just look at porn all day as some adults think many learn how to make a website or right computer programs or just game with friends.
    im sorry for the rant but i feel like a lot of people ignore electronics and demonize it even though it has lots of good sides. for example when i am on the internet i spend time on forums and chat and am now even more connected as i now know people from all over the world.

  • Cara

    You guys have the best way of saying and explaing things. I never thought that just maybe I hve technology as my main friend. Thanks for making this post . It’s truly fantastic ! . : ) Gracias !

  • Kate M. age 14

    I agree with you Gabriel! But spending too much time on the computer tempts us too. Like every time (even a blocked popup) comes on the screen, temptation arises. I have an iPod in the mail (it should get here soon, I can’t wait for it to arive!) but I do listen to the radio and use the computer too much but I am getting better at stemming the addiction!

  • Daniel Colvin

    The media, doesn’t matter if left or right, is the enemy of free thought and free thinkers. We read and believe what is written or what the guy said on TV last week. I for my part read a selection of newspapers that are known for objectivity but still question some things the say. That’s How you become informed about politics and other events. As for music and magazines i do try to be careful because there is allot of bad content around with witch i am not willing to fill my brain. That doesn’t mean you only have to read christian books and christian to christian music. I’ve read very controversial books like the Communist Manifest by Marks even though he was an extreme atheist, but one must learn to read critically before reading those kind of books.

  • Savy Kyne

    Whoa!!!! I never put it that way, but it’s totally true!!

  • In many ways my iPod IS my best friend. that’s something i need to work on…

    Thanks for pointing that out,guys!

  • Joshua

    I have an i pod but rarely listen to it. I lke how you said the media is one of our friends though. that got me thinking.

  • Pingback: It’s time to Do Hard Things… | Literature Loves Company()

  • laurawhite

    I’ve never really thought about how my ipod or computer could be a “friend” but now that i look back on how much time i spend on both whether it be recreational or for school i spend a lot of time either searching the internet or just listening to music. This post really makes me think of how much time i really spend using electronics.

  • Emily A. Davis

    I think it is so true that the kind of music you listen to, movies you watch, etc. can influence you. The media is a way that secular ideas get planted into peoples’ heads. Teens today often spend as much time as using electronics than they do with actual friends. I am challenged to make sure that my “electronic friends” are as trustworthy as my real friends.

  • Tyler Hall

    The music listened to is something that can be the heart behind a person. It can influence someone to do things, that maybe they should not be doing. It is just something to think about the value of friends and electronic friends.

  • David Squirrels

    I dont listen to too much music mostly cause I dont have an ipod but I do think it is interesting how you said that media is our friend cause I think most people in the US would have a hard time living without it.

  • Leah Kelly

    Music can influence the moods people experience. The things we listen to and watch become part of our vocabulary and behavior. When we become to obsessive over things it is not healthy. The type of music listened to or the movies watched by them can tell a lot about their character!

  • Greggers

    From observations and personal experiences, the artificial friends we have through various medias affect us more than our human friends can. Mainly because it disguises itself as one thing, but includes another message when you look closer. It then ingrains itself in your mind, because of a catch tune, or the way they express themselves. Then we include it among our thoughts and it pops up in our heads and we identify with it, thus it becomes part of our character.

  • Nickb4

    Music has a very positive or very negative influence on someone. Music can be great inspiration for people 2 go out into the world and make a positive inpact. but music can also negatively affect someone in their behaviour and actions.

  • andygoodall

    Wow, I never thought of it that way before…it’s so true though how we never realize how much entertainment affects us, not only in our actions but in our thoughts too. It says somewhere in the Bible (don’t remember haha) that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks…and the music and movies we put into our heart have a huge impact on our minds and our words.

  • sarahann

    All of this is so true. I have thought about this before but it is always something that people need to be reminded of. We spend so much time listening to music and watching or reading about things that are so bad for us that we forget that it is one of Satan’s most powerful ways to get to us. People always say that listening to music with bad words doesn’t effect them, or they listen to the “clean” versions, but it still has a great impact on you. You still find yourself thinking the bad words atleast or becoming numb to the sound of them. All of this is interfering with your walk with the Lord. In no way is any of it uplifting to Jesus and honoring to Him. So if you are truely trying to honor Him and obey Him then what you watch and listen, and even read, are things you must monitor carefully.

  • Mike Consolazio

    I listen to music quite a lot and that made me wonder if the music I listen to really has that great of an impact on my life. Interesting idea.

  • Drakula

    I agree that my iPod is a factor in my life. It is constantly used in my car, or yard work… whatever else. It definitely has an effect on me due to what kind of music is playing, or if someone is trying to talk to me while I have it on. I assume that I’m not the only one, and it must be a problem in some atmospheres.

  • Cooper Wyattt

    First off let me start by saying I’m a big fan of your book, “Do hard Things”, it was probably the best book I read all summer. Anyway, I think you’re totally right, entertainment and what you allow to go into your head really does affect your mind and heart, for example, I know plenty of guys who watch the show “Family Guy”, they don’t tend to make a big deal about it, but I’ve noticed that the attitude of the show often rubs off on it’s viewers. They start joking around about all kinds of filth, like racism, homosexuality, and premarital sex. These aren’t things to be laughed at, they are serious issues. Its because people allow themselves to be companions of fools and foolish things, that they themselves become fools. The same goes for inappropriate movies and music. When you love something that is not of God, it becomes a false idol to you. And we all know how God feels about false idols….

  • Bryce

    Wow this really got me thinking about how much time i actualy spend using technology like ipods, and how it can distort my veiws of what Christ wants me to see.

  • Kelly Wing

    i never thought of music as a “friend” before. They bring up a good point. We do become like those we put ourselves around and spend time with. This has really got me thinking about how the music i listen to or movies i watch influence me and the person i am becoming. I listen to music a a lot and i am going to be more aware of what i listen to.

  • Ally Livingston

    Wow. I never thought of this, this way. To think that I spend most of my day on my Ipod, computer, and watching TV. All of this does influenece you. This has me thinking of how my life would be different if I cut out some of the things I watch and listen to. Also just the fact of cutting out listening to music alot or watching TV. I could be getting so much closer to my family and spending more time with God, and have a stronger relationship with him. This has opened my eyes.

  • Lucas Serravalle

    I actually have thought about this a while ago, but it’s still really great to hear about this again. I don’t have an Ipod, but I listen to a fair amount of music. However, just because it’s music does not mean it’s a bad thing. I have almost all Christian music on my Itunes, and I’m very glad that I do. Music is an extremely powerful in everyone’s lives, even if they don’t like music. It’s extremely important to dedicate our ENTIRE lives (including our music) to God. That’s the meaning of giving our life to God.

  • Tyler Ames

    Music doesn’t really have a great influence on my life. I don’t really listen to it that much just in the car mainly. But music does play a huge role in everyones life. Like everywhere you go you see people with their ipods and the headphones stuck in their ears 24/7.

  • Kelley Serravalle

    I definitely believe what we allow to come in through our ears and our eyes has a huge impact on how we act. Though I’ve never considered technology as a “friend” before but it’s definitely true, and a good comparison of that relationship. For me one of the things I have to check myself most on is being on technology more than hanging out with people and God. You miss so many wonderful opportunities to interact with people when you spend your days enthralled with technology, and you can even miss opportunities God’s put in your life to witness to people. Even something as simple as taking a walk outside(without your i-pod), can be used by God to get you to reach out to people you see or even show you His love through time just with Him.

  • RachelFletcher

    I didn’t know I could be just as affected by technology as I am with people and I definitely didn’t consider it a “Friend.” I watch a lot of movies and listen to lots of music that probably affect me more then I will ever know. But, now I will try to be more aware and cautious.

  • Matt Emery

    Wow ive never really thought about technology that way before. You guys are right though in the long run these things replace your friends. I mean after getting mad or sad or even to get pumped for a game people listen to their ipods not friends.

  • Brienne

    wow, thanks guys! Now I’m gonna try to spend more time reading my Bible instead of listening to my ipod. :)

  • Jennifer Young Park

    Wow.. it is cool how this article reminds me of the discussion that i had with my father sast summer about this problem, “Do you need to choose carefully what to listen, read, and watch?” I told my father that “I don’t care about the lyrics when I listen to the bad music and i don’t take seriously when i read things or watch things.. and if people do the same way i do, then it won’t be a huge problem to watch, listen, or read bad stuff.” However, my father’s reply kinda surprised me… He said, “then how do you know those stuff are bad?”….. I couldn’t answer him… Since i didn’t consider them carefully, how did i know they were bad?…. Also, i could find myself often using the words from those songs, articles, dramas, or movies to respond “coolly” to my friends. I think choosing and filtering the media around me is necessary.

  • Alyssa

    Can’t believe it! Sixth time this month God has told me to STOP listening to secular music. I need listen to uplifting music that feeds my soul. All the music i have spent so much time downloading and listening to has MAJORLY wasted my time, since im getting nothing in return. Thanks for the encouragement to stay away from secular music again.
    Alyssa

  • Michael

    I don’t think media w/o mentioning God is bad, just make sure the song doesn’t have anything anti-christian values in it. Also, check the singer/writers. If a friend gives u some music that isn’t anti-christian, but the singer is, it’s your choice and God’s if u should get rid of it or not.

    >>Michael<<

  • Nina

    I have an iPod. I use it all the time, during my math homework, in the car, reading… I think this article really helps me realize that sometimes i do ‘idolize’ it. thanx! I’m reading your book in my Bible class and it’s terrific! I love all the stories of teenagers stepping up! Good job.

  • Brooke

    I feel that media in our current time is becoming vital for most. With all of the media out there, we have to be careful what we choose to put in front of us. I myself have trouble staying away from potentially bad music because it’s out there and catchy. Another isssue is not being cool if I don’t want to listen to a certain song because of its values. What if my friends would laugh at me? This is the weakness that I trip up on constantly. I would not consider my iPod a “friend” however… it is just something that I really enjoy. I will never choose my iPod over real friends.
    Thanks guys (: I will really think about what I take into my mind and heart.

    -Brooklyn

  • Steve Mendoza

    wow! that is soo true! i dont have an ipod rite now, but it seems that soo many kids in this day and age do. it has become not only a “fad”, but an idol! this post was soo true! ty

  • Incy.

    So my mom just threw your book “Do Hard Things” at me and told me to read chapters 5 and 6. I have done so but yet I feel conflicted. I KNOW of the things I need to apply myself more towards and the things I need to do less. I have to very much disagree with Elisabeth Gruber where she says “resonsibility does not include tainting ones mind with movies encouraging teenage sexuality, homosexuality, crude behavior, perverted jokes, sinful and lustful behavior” BUT I disagree saying that its not movies that will be showing us these things. But ourselves and people around us. We can not be sheltered from such things or we may be dramatized in the future when something of these sorts happens.
    Also one has the choice of what they see or hear. If one wants to listen to music about fornification or anything else. Let them. Its their own free will. If God didnt want us to make descisions for ourselves then we wouldnt be able to do most of the things that make the world go round.
    For the “iPod is my best friend” aspect, I own an iPod and I happen to have songs that may contain explicit words or just plain nasty stuff, but it doesnt harm me. Not at all. I dont isolate myself whenever listening to it or burst out singing any of those songs. I also happen to have Christian music on it which I listen to as much as other genres.
    I choose my friends carefully and I make sure whatever they happen to do that I dont agree with affect my life. For example, I know for a fact that at least half of my school will take a drink of an alcoholic beverage about once a week and half of that half does drugs. Now my school happens to be small, so friends that hold true to the values of yourself or God are found only in a handful. I make an effort to at least be friends or try and make people I dont usually talk to on a daily basis smile when they are down. You sometimes have to have handful of true best friends and another couple handfulls of people you wouldnt necessarily bring home and hang out with your parents. Or in my case parent.
    On that point I would like to say that my father’s infidelity to my mom has hurt me in more ways then one. But thats for another time.

    The pen-names,
    Incy.

  • Joshua Golden

    Incy.,

    An ipod is not a bad thing, it can be good. But if we use listen to the wrong stuff, it can be harmful. If you don’t feel like they affect you, thats good. It means that you are strong and don’t let that stuff affect your life. But that doesn’t mean that we should still listen to stuff like that. Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This means not to let ourselves fall to temptations like dirty music. And it might take a toll on you that you don’t feel. The devil likes to work in insidious ways. It is a dangerous territory that many fall into. And you are right, we shouldn’t be sheltered from things like that, but that doesn’t mean we indulge in it. And we do have free will, but that doesn’t mean that God wants us to do whatever. He wants us to follow him, and as Philippians 4:8 says, to not indulge in things of the world and think about only pure things. And on the friend matter, it is good to have friends that you can minister to, as long as you don’t let them affect you. This is not to be judgmental or anything, I am just presenting my point of view on these matters.Anyone feel free to present a point they disagree on. God Bless!

  • Carolina C

    This article is SO TRUE!!! i find myself spending hours a day on my computor listening to music. Of course, my parents shelter me so it’s mostly SKillet, Reliant K and tobyMac, but i know my computor and my music are taking the place of more important things in my life.

    P.S. Just read ‘Do Hard Things’ for the twenty sixth time. BIG FAN HERE!!!

    Thanks, guys, I’ll read more soon!

  • John Y.

    Oh WOW!!!! I recently changed churches, i love the youth group and all but my class i have afterward is distracted with text messeges to commenting on something on their facebook page. when the teacher askes a question the class either shuts up or changes the subject. it makes me sad that i am in a class full of people with the attention span of 2 year olds. they openly agree that their ipod is their best friend! or when i go to a friends house he talks to pretty much everybody other than me because of his computer. =( its a scary thing. i pray that my generation will have the scense that they were born with. Carolina C. your taste in music is AWESOME big high-five!!!!

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  • This is something really tough that we all have to confess. Sometimes I play on phone/listen to iPod more than I talk to my own parents. Now that I realize that, I guess it seems a little pathetic. We have so many other things in our life that will offer us more rewards.

  • Kailyn Coss

    hey guys, great job! i have to admit, i just got an iPod & it had definfetly been a good ol’ pal :p it took time away from me reading my Bible, adn hanging out with my family…my parents have made me see how very important family is 😀 anyway, i was coming quite addicted to my ipod…and on accident i left it out in the rain, and it is currently busted! I think that unexpected shower and my act of stupidty were totatlly a God-thing! ttyl! God bless <3

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  • Emily C.

    Man, it’s like so many kids in my school would rather play their video games then hang out with their family or friends. Like today in school. We were doing something in class that involved getting up and moving, when a guy next to me takes something off his ear that I thought was some type of earing. When I asked him what it was, he said it was a microphone used for contacting and talking to friends when playing video games. But it was broken now, because he used it to much. Now, I don’t watch much T.V. or stuff like that. I’m mostly a reader. So I really didn’t (and still don’t) understand how someone could play so much! Have people’s expectations gone so low, that the parents find this normal? I mean, people find it weird that I don’t have a cell phone, and that I’m not catholic but just Christin. So are teens expected to just, goof of, text under desks, not do homework,and care less about God and family? It’s just plain outrageous.

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  • la martina polos

    I just bookmarked your site so that I can read more of your post next time. Keep up the good work and keep on information us about new things.

  • Chloe

    Wow, that hit hard! Thank you Alex and Brett for that message. Guilty!

  • Maddie

    oh my gosh! when I read the first few senences i breatheda sigh of relief. SOMEBODY thinks the way i do! My youth group was doing a series called “at the movies” and after every message, we watched a movie. Well, one night the movie was thor, and not to be judgemental, but I don’t believe a movie about greek gods should be a movie watched in church. So I went out (And my bestsest friend came with me. A true gem) and I sat in the lobby. Well the pastor came over to ask me why I was outside. and I sort of debated with him about why the movie was wrong. He could say nothing on the movie’s behalf.

  • Alex

    This was something my parents figured out looong before I did. The looks of awe and pity when I innocently declared that I didn’t have a tv or a video game puzzled my eight year old mind. I was the “deprived ” bookworm who would grow up “sheltered” . But now, at sixteen, I can catch the hidden agendas and worldviews and understand that a lot of media out there is trash, and that there ARE some great “friends” to make in the media. You just have to look for them.

  • Mimy

    Yeah man, it’s hitting really hard. I can tell you for a fact that everytime I don’t have a phone in my hands I feel liberated. Though music has been challenging for me because I freaking love all types of music (: Thanks for the reminder though!

  • Diana

    I was suicidal since my childhood began. If not for “distractions” like books, technology and such I would have killed myself. People around children and teens are cruel and whenever we are given the hope of having people who understand you, you give in gladly. You had the bible, which I too had, thing is, God answered my prayers only in 10 years. 10! Think about how terrible I feel now, after cursing his name. Media is a substitute for the people we were promised to have as friends.

  • skyla

    You guys pin point and exploit whats true about our day and age. So few people and sites especially christian sites, though im sad to say, sugar coat things when as much as the truth might sting, it is ultimately true and helpful. I thank you for this post and continue to read these posts as well. But this blog I must admit that it has hit me on the head in a few areas…music especially. It is my passion i love to sing to listen to it and to play paino, well what ive taught myself, and am starting guitar soon. But i definitely need to keep a check on this and even the amount of time im on certain apps on my ipod. Normally i dont realize that im on it so much until i get grounded or dont have it and find myself wishing i had it and realizing that the time i have when i get home has gone to my ipod and it have even though i am ashamed to say has taken time from personal devotions. Those are wake up calls to me and helps me to get back to the routine of praying and reading the bible as much as i should be. But this is something i am working hard on even though at times i fail. i thank you for your view and another way to look at it. This is encouragement to me to continue to make sure god has his place in my life first then everything will follow…thanks guys you guys inspire me like never before!

    Skyla

  • Elijah

    I’m sad for my generation. Is there any thing I can do for it?

  • Nsb

    I agree wholeheartedly!

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