By Yang Yang
One day, I read a popular saying online that went something like this, “The farthest distance in the world isn’t the other side of the world, it’s sitting next to you while you play with your phone.” No matter if you’re on the subway, on the bus, in a restaurant, or on the streets … at any time of the day, you can always find a certain group of people, phubbers. They have a phone, tablet, or some other gadget in their hand as they watch videos, play games, or look at their friend feed, and their members are primarily young people. Because they often do these things with their head down, some people call them phubber.
As technology has developed, the internet has made our lives much more convenient. People can buy what they want without leaving the house, or they can contact different people without going out. But what is brought about by the convenience of the internet? Let’s take a look at the relevant reports.
Ms. Yue likes to go online. When online shopping emerged as a widespread phenomenon, she spent a lot of time shopping online, often until 1–2 in the morning, sometimes even until 6 in the morning, and when she went to work the next day, she fell asleep at her desk. After chatting software came out, she often chatted into the middle of the night, and even when she was exhausted, her hands were still not idle. Gradually her memory declined significantly, she suffered from a bad neck, and had dark circles under her eyes. Her husband was very dissatisfied with her over this, saying that she had forgotten her aims in life over a toy.
Mr. Wang’s nephew is 14 years old, and he used to be very obedient, but ever since he became obsessed with going online on his mobile phone, it is always in his hand, whether he’s eating or sleeping, the degree of myopia in his eyes has been rising, and he has become absolutely silent. To buy equipment in the game he loves, he used his dad’s credit card twice to charge 10,000 yuan. When his father discovered it, the boy stubbornly refused to admit it.
According to a psychological counseling survey conducted by Capital Normal University, 77% of people have their mobile phones turned on for more than 12 hours a day; 33.55% have them turned on 24 hours a day; 65% say “I feel some anxiety when my mobile phone isn’t next to me,” and more than 90% can’t live without their phones. The first thing phubbers do when they wake up every day is to look at their mobile phones, and they need to check their mobile phones before they go to bed. They spend their days refreshing Weibo, watching their friend feed, and playing online games.
These phubbers are completely immersed in their individual online world. They experience all the sensations the internet brings them as if no one else was there, as if all the people, matters, and things around them no longer exist. Slowly, they lose direction in their lives, and the distance between them and other people grows. They focus solely on phubbing, looking only at their mobile phones while ignoring the people around them, and erecting a thick barrier to prevent exchange between themselves and others. In the long run, although they seem to interact frequently and intensely with their friends on the internet, their relationships with people in real life become ever more narrow and closed off, and their ability to socialize withers, which becomes an obstacle to communication. For example, some children are sluggish when they arrive at school, and have nothing to say to their classmates, but when they turn on their mobile phones, their eyes brighten and their minds become sharp. They have absolutely no interest in learning or their futures, and only care about gaming. Or, some couples typically only care about their work, and only play games or chat online when they have free time. As time goes on, husband and wife no longer share a common language, and they live as strangers under the same roof. Not only that, it also leads to frequent danger. Many people hold mobile phones and tablets while walking, making major accidents due to looking at their phones a common occurrence. For example, one young girl was walking along the street and only looking at her phone, and as a result, she stepped into a hole and got her leg trapped in a well. Helpless, she had to ask the police for help, and a metal saw was required to remove the sewer cover and free her. A young mother stepped into an elevator while looking at her phone instead of her 2-year-old daughter, who fell into the elevator shaft and died. Another young woman was walking along a lake shore while playing with her phone and then fell into the lake…. We can see that phubbing is no ordinary social problem, it’s one that impacts and threatens people’s lives and work, and it’s one that shouldn’t be underestimated. But, the question we should reflect on is that even though many people have already seen, heard, and experienced the hidden dangers of being a phubber, why are they still so obsessed? Why do people choose to be a phubber without a moment of hesitation? If things keep going like this, what will be the consequences?
Just at the moment when I was overcome by this problem, I accepted the work of God. In God’s words, I finally found the answer. God says: “We only wish to talk about the ideas that social trends bring about for people, the way they cause people to conduct themselves in the world, the life goals and outlook that they bring about in people. These are very important; they can control and influence man’s state of mind. One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist.”
“Do these social trends have a big influence on people? Do they have a deeply harmful effect on people? (Yes.) A very deeply harmful effect on people. Satan uses one of these social trends after another to corrupt man’s what? (Conscience, reason, humanity, morals, and view on life.) Do they cause a gradual degeneration in people? Satan uses these social trends to lure people one step at a time into a nest of devils, so that people caught up in social trends unknowingly advocate money and material desires, as well as advocate wickedness and violence. Once these things have entered man’s heart, what then does man become? Man becomes the devil Satan! This is because of what psychological leaning in the heart of man? What does man advocate? Man begins to like wickedness and violence. They do not like beauty or goodness, much less peace. People are not willing to live the simple life of normal humanity, but instead wish to enjoy high status and great wealth, to revel in the pleasures of the flesh, sparing no effort to satisfy their own flesh, with no restrictions, no bonds to hold them back, in other words doing whatever they desire. So when man has become immersed in these kinds of trends, can the knowledge that you have learned help you get free? Can the traditional culture and superstitions you know help you cast off this dire predicament? Can the traditional morals and traditional ceremony that man comprehends help them exercise restraint? Take the Three Character Classic, for example. Can it help people pull their feet out of the quicksand of[a] these trends? (No, it cannot.) In this way, man becomes more and more evil, arrogant, condescending, selfish, and malicious. There is no longer any affection between people, no longer any love between family members, no longer any understanding between relatives and friends.”
“Satan corrupts man at all times and at all places. Satan makes it impossible for man to defend against this corruption and makes man helpless to it. Satan makes you accept its thoughts, its viewpoints and the evil things that come from it in situations where you are unwitting and when you have no recognition of what’s happening to you. People fully accept these things and take no exception to them. They cherish and hold these things like a treasure, they let these things manipulate them and toy with them, and this is how Satan’s corruption of man becomes deeper and deeper.”
“‘Deception and paralysis’ is that Satan makes up some sweet-sounding statements and ideas that are in concert with people’s conceptions to make it seem as though it is taking people’s flesh into consideration or thinking about their lives and futures, when actually it is just to fool you. It then paralyzes you so that you do not know what is right and what is wrong, so that you are unwittingly tricked and thereby come under its control.” God’s words completely reveal the root cause of how phubbers came into being. This is nothing but a means and method for Satan to deceive and paralyze people! Satan’s mischief is behind the obstinacy of phubbers. Satan often uses social trends to confuse, bind, and numb people, and induce them into debauchery and degeneracy. These evil things occupy people’s minds and trap them deeply and inextricably, such as online games, which we think of as a fashion, but with which we can become obsessed to the point that we lose self-control, both old and young, men and women. Online love destroys many originally happy, stable families. Countless housewives are addicted to online shopping. They immediately fall in love with what they see and buy it, which in turn greatly stimulates people’s extravagant desires, making us unable to stop until we possess things. Our thoughts, morality, insight, and reason are seriously damaged by all these things. The Internet Age given rise to by Satan has become a trend. The whole world has been enveloped by Satan’s evil trends, and we all accept, grasp, and use these things of Satan as positive things. Once we begin following worldly trends and the evil airs of Satan, our lives are naturally impacted. These things have inundated everyone’s hearts, from unacceptance at the start to taking it for granted today, and now our hearts have completely acquiesced. Especially those born in the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s are hooked on the internet as if it was opium. These things are already firmly in control of our thoughts, and they make it impossible for us to extricate ourselves. The Satan’s deception and temptations are the real reason that phubbers are produced and spread. This kind of evil trend is unquestionably a poison by which we are slowly killing ourselves. One step at a time, it leads us to the abyss and to death.
Only God is concerned for and loves mankind, and without God’s protection and care, we can never escape being toyed with and harmed by Satan, and finally being swallowed up against our will by tide after tide of evil. Just as God’s word says, “I am mankind’s only salvation. I am mankind’s only hope and, even more, I am He on whom the existence of all mankind rests. Without Me, mankind will immediately come to a complete standstill. Without Me, mankind will suffer catastrophe and be trodden down by all manner of ghosts, even though no one takes heed of Me.” Mankind was created by God, and God gives mankind sunshine, air, food, and all the other things that mankind needs to survive. At the same time, God has been working among people, speaking to provide for people, saving people, and teaching people how to live, how to behave, how to worship God, and many other aspects of the truth in the hope that we can accept everything from God, so that we mankind can dwell and live normally on the earth, live out a true human likeness, and live out lives blessed by God. God says: “I urge the people of all nations, countries, and even industries to listen to the voice of God, to behold the work of God, to pay attention to the fate of mankind, thus making God the most holy, the most honorable, the highest, and the only object of worship among mankind, and allowing the whole of mankind to live under the blessing of God, just as the descendants of Abraham lived under the promise of Jehovah, and just as Adam and Eve, who were originally made by God, lived in the Garden of Eden.” God cares for us mankind, who He personally created, and is concerned about us mankind trampled upon by Satan. He hopes that the lost can become aware of their confusion and return, and come before Him and accept His salvation as soon as possible.