Don’t Waste Your Life on your Apps

AndroidI am finally upgrading from the cast-off Motorola v360 that I’ve used for 3 years and from the even older Windows Mobile iPaq that died several months ago. Because of a new corporate plan, this week I got a shiny new all-in-one Android smart phone with a data plan. Don’t try to change my mind with your iPhone or Blackberry rhetoric. I’ve already spent more time than I should have thinking about which platform, which device, and now which apps to use.

About the time I was thinking about platforms and devices, I happened to listen to the Get-It-Done Guy’s podcast on how to choose the best apps. Stever Robbins helped me to drop one potential criteria for which platform to choose when he said,

‘App stores love to flaunt their size. “We have 800,000 apps.” They say that like it’s a good thing. More apps mean more choice. That is a bad thing. More choice means more stress and more paralysis.’

He also conditioned me for when I would start loading apps on a new device. He went on to say,

‘An 800,000-app store means we have to burn up our precious, irreplaceable life energy evaluating 799,996 apps before finding the four that actually make us productive. … The time you spend browsing apps comes right out of the productivity time the app saves.’

But I thought I had switched to a John Piper podcast when Robbins told me not to browse the app store, saying,

‘If you see a colorful icon and are tempted to click on it to find out more, say to yourself, “This is my life I’m wasting.” Oh, look! Angry Birds! “This is my life I’m wasting.” Wow! An app that can help me figure out what color my groceries are! “This is my life I’m wasting.” Got it?’

I have benefitted immensely from reading Piper’s book Don’t Waste Your Life. I have given away more copies than I remember. The “Treasuring Him” DWYL sermon jam still echos in my ears.

And yet, translating “Don’t Waste Your Life” into my daily life hasn’t always been easy. On THIS day, in THIS moment, when making THIS choice how am I going to demonstrate that I treasure Christ more than my shiny new Android device. It must be more than toy; it must be more than productivity tool; it must help me to treasure Christ and to prove that I treasure him.

I thought Piper might help me. I was a little disappointed when I discovered that the article that I thought was titled “Don’t Waste Your Life on Your iPhone” was actually “Don’t Waste Your Life on Your iPhone”, a product announcement and not an exhortation. But the exhortation was on the site, “Beware: The Bible Is About to Threaten Your Smartphone Focus” including two app suggestions. I also found the “Fighter Verses on Your iPhone or Android” product announcement.

So now I’m looking for your advice. How does your smartphone make you more productive and keep your attention on God? What are the best Android apps to help me do that? Don’t say Angry Birds! I’ve already got that.