Book Summary: 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

The most invasive and prevalent thing in our lives today is technology. More than ever, it is imperative that we inspect the devices in our life and decide how we can steward technology wisely through establishing healthy digital habits.  There are few books that can dive deep into theology while also giving practical advice. Tony accomplishes this as his book provides moments for everyone. The deep thinker will have moments to pause and ponder, while the practitioner will have action steps to immediately execute.

3 Quotes You Need To Hear


“…every technological innovation is a new theological invitation for renewed biblical contemplation by God’s people.” (p.37)


“The more distracted we are digitally, the more displaced we become spiritually. (p.51)” 


“Technology makes life easier, but immaturity makes technology self-destructive. (p.192)”

2 Big Takeaways

How to be smart about your smartphone: Reinke’s desire in this book is to increase self-awareness of how your phone is influencing you, both the good and the bad. He gives three questions that help us discern how it is impacting us:

  • Ends: Do my smartphone behaviors move me toward God or away from him?
  • Influence: Do my smartphone behaviors edify me and others, or do they build nothing of lasting value? 
  • Servitude: Do my smartphone behaviors expose my freedom in Christ or my bondage to technique? (p.194)

We are addicted to distraction: The average person looks at their phone every 4.3 minutes. When we check our phones, it often takes us 40 seconds to fully reengage in what we are doing. That means the average person is distracted by their phone over 3 million seconds a year. That is adds up to 37 days! Think of all the difference that you can make in 37 days? Furthermore, what meaningful moments were interrupted and wasted because your phone notified you about a funny gif. 

1 Recommendation

Tony Reinke does not believe that technology is good or bad, but he does believe that it is highly influential. It is the most invasive and prevalent thing in our lives today. More than ever, it is imperative that we inspect the devices in our life and decide how we can steward technology wisely through establishing healthy digital habits. 

There are few books that can dive deep into theology while also giving practical advice. Tony accomplishes this as his book provides moments for everyone. He speaks to our “heart” about addiction to distractions, approval, and detachment while also speaking to our “hands” as he gives wise suggestions like turning off notifications and placing a real alarm clock by your bed. The deep thinker will have moments to pause and ponder, while the practitioner will have action steps to immediately execute. 

What Are Your Thoughts?

What is one habit you do to help you handle your digital devices wisely?

Comment below.

2 Replies to “Book Summary: 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke”

  1. They clearly must not have surveyed me when it talked about phone usage. I could’ve brought the research to under 4 minutes. Best thing I can add is that if I know I need to be in an environment where I should not be distracted or I want to be sure people know they have my undivided attention, I just don’t bring my phone. I’ll leave it in the car, leave it at home—wherever.

    1. I like that one! I realized that I was doing a bad job at giving undivided attention to Sophie.So, I just bought an old school alarm clock and put my phone in a back room as soon as I get home and don’t pick it up til right before I leave for work the next day.It has been really helpful!

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