The impact of cell phones on psychology, community, culture, the arts, and economics is deep and far reaching. There's no doubt that cell phones and mobile communication devices have played an integral part in changing culture.
Florie Brizel has been one of the voices who have been leading the international talks on the positive possibilities as well as the potential negative impact mobile phones can have on the world cultures. She believes the impact of cell phone use in more than a passing phenomenon and is something worthy of legitimate academic study.
"In terms of culture, I want to explore how Mobile can bring people together to lean about each other. But I'm also interested in how it can potentially ‘flatten’ the very flavors that make each culture unique." She tells Huffington Post's, Jim Luce, "This is especially true for cultures that have managed to avoid significant interaction with the outside world, and particularly, avoid influence from the Western World."
As cell phones continue to spread into every culture around the world, so does a specific popular-social-media perception of reality. Whoever is the most influential or virally popular throughout the different avenues of mobile social media, that's whose going to be the biggest influencers of the ideas, values, and standards of future cultural perceptions? And the values and standards of every-day-norms in the mobile world will slowly but surely translate into our local world and local culture.
According to the Barna Research Group between the years of 1998 and 2006 studies revealed that the Church was suffering record lows in the areas of daily Bible reading and daily Bible devotion. Less and less Christians were carrying their Bibles to work, school, and even to Church. With less Christians reading the Bible daily the Christian culture itself began to change as The Absolute Truth, and is more widely accepted as filled with ‘Relative Truths’.
Studies by the Research Group revealed that:
- Only 9% of all ‘born-again’ adults have a Biblical worldview.
- Less than 1% of Christians who ‘attend church regularly’ could remember all of the Ten Commandments.
- 96% of Christian adults claim that worship is not essential for spiritual growth, yet the same Christians claim that they have not undeniably experienced a the real presence of God.
- Less than one out of ten Christians age eighteen or older believes that:
o Absolute truth exists, and that such truth is contained in the Bible.
o They are certain that the Bible is accurate in its teachings.
o Jesus lived a sinless life
o The Satan is real
o The Bible contains real stories and accurate history
o Jesus is the means to salvation
o God is all-knowing and all-powerful
o God created the earth in six physical days and rested on the seventh
o They are responsible for sharing their faith with non-believers
-Source: George Barna/ Book, Revolution
Christians, Humanitarians, Buddhists, Atheists, the ACLU, Martin Luther King Jr.,Cult Leaders, Terrorists, Activists, and all Educators agree that the things people invest most of their time and mental energies into will dictate their perceptions of reality, influence their actions and responses to every situation and circumstance, define their purpose, and thus change the direction of their future.
Something interesting happened in 2007. LifeChurch.tv in Edmund, Okla., gave birth to a highly interactive social Bible app called YouVersion, and the number of downloads began to soar as well as the number of daily Bible readers. YouVersion has become the most downloaded Bible app in the world with more than 25 million people who have downloaded the app already and growing at the staggering rate of around two million users per month.
(I’m writing this article on Saturday morning at 4:37am, March 9, 2013 and according to www.YouVersion.com ‘s live download ticker there have been 83,309,899 downloads worldwide, with a download rate of about 1.5 downloads every second. Click on the link and see how many downloads have taken place since this article. Feel free to update everyone in the comment box. The number is staggering)
According to LifeChurch.tv, the creator of YouVersion, the Bible (through their one app alone) is available in 113 translations and over 100 languages. It’s available free for Android, for iPhone/iPad, Black Berry, Windows Phones, Windows 7 & 8, Kindle Fire, Nook, HP/Palm, Java, Symbian, and Mac. You can down load it from their website, or go to www.youversion.com/download
Bobby Gruenewald is the innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv and one of the creators of YouVersion.
"I believe we live in a generation that is really seeking truth and wanting to know what truth is. The Bible, we believe, represents truth for our lives." Bobby tells R. Leigh Coleman, Christian Post Reporter.
"We actually believe it’s now possible to not just see 10 million or 20 million install these Bible apps on their phones. But we believe it's now possible to see half a billion people engage in God's word," Gruenewald said. “…we hope to see a lot of people discover or rediscover the Bible.”
Currently, YouVersion is available in 113 translations and 41 languages. The app can be downloaded for free. Today, there are more than 25 million people who have downloaded the YouVersion app on their mobile device. The pace continues to grow at a rate of about two million new users per month. -LifeChurch.tv/Christian Post
“We have a lot of pastors and a lot of church leaders that are big fans and users of YouVersion, and they actually encourage it from the pulpit," Gruenewald said. "Some of them even teach from their phone using it as their Bible from stage."
While the controversy of its acceptance as 'just as good as the physical book-in-hand' is still argued in every church, there's no doubt that the benefits of the app outweighs the cons. Although many 'old-fashion' Christians are still fighting the mobile takeover of church services, this app is spreading like wild fire and quickly replacing the paper-page-turning Bibles, for the electronic mobile swipe.
Many of those who argue their point about replacing their Bible with the app claim that it's easier to carry the whole Bible with a library of commentaries and other versions right on their phone than toting their bibles with them. They also like being able to navigate the scripture faster, while being able to quickly highlight a verse then push a button to instantly send it to other's via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Features of the Bible app (You Version) include;
- Multiple Bible versions, including an option to read different versions side by side
- The option of several different Bible reading plans, with daily email notifications
- Topical, Issue, Popular, Devotional plans
- Choose to have an Encouraging Verse sent to you phone every day.
- Highlight, Underline, Take Notes, Book Mark, Favorite Scriptures
- Instantly Email Scriptures with your Notes
- Connect Live with your Pastor's Sermon Notes and follow his out line
- Read or Listen to you Bible reading plan
- Watch or Share Videos: The Bible series on History Channel, Jesus Film Media, and Films from the LUMO Project.
Gruenewald is quick to point out that YouVersion isn’t meant to replace the traditional Bible, but to create more opportunities for Bible reading and to take down barriers for Bible engagement. “We just think it is a great thing that ought to be part of our daily lives and that is why we created the app so that it is easier for the Bible to be part of our daily lives.” – Christian Post
It’s Gruenewald’s hope, along with the hundreds of new Bible and spiritual-development app creators, that by having the Bible on your person at all times this mobile technology will actually help reverse the trends of less Bible reading.
The Church, with the commission to 'go into all the world' has recently ventured into the social media/ mobile app world to create a change in the Christian faith culture with hopes to make the Bible more engaging for Christians and more easily assessable for the spiritually curious.
Do you use YouVersion on your mobile devise?
Do you read the Bible on a daily basis?
How has your mobile phone influenced your life?
How important is your cell phone to you?
How long can you go without your mobile phone?
Please share your comments and opinions below.
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