Christians and Their Phones

My wife and I are avid Chipotle enthusiasts (aka we eat there multiple times a week).

Recently, as my wife and I were in the midst of enduring the restaurant’s seemingly unconquerable line, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were on their phones. Regardless of whether they were with loved ones or braving the line solo, an overwhelming majority of people defaulted their attention to their phones rather than the people standing right next to them. Even when many people approached the front of the line to place their order, their attention was often still diverted between their phones and the people crafting their delicious burritos.

It drives me absolutely crazy when I observe this: people attempting to order food and coffee or purchase groceries while looking at or are even in the middle of a phone call. As someone who has worked in customer service for seven years, I can testify that there are not many ways to make someone in customer service feel less-than human than being on your phone while they’re trying to help you.

Unfortunately, as I’ve spent time with Christian friends, I’ve found that we as a whole don’t treat people in customer service any differently.

Observing this frustrating trend becoming more of a standard everywhere I go, I can’t help but wonder how Jesus would handle these situations.

Jesus at a Coffee Shop

I can just picture it.

Jesus rolls into a café one morning with his disciples. The baker’s dozen get in line behind a handful of people. A couple of the disciples are checking their iPhones for the tenth time in the last ten minutes to see if anyone new has liked their status update on Facebook—perhaps Facescroll. Of course James and John are going back-and-forth about whose Instagram picture of Jesus walking on water is better.

As the group approaches the front of the line, the barista greets Jesus, “Hi, how are you?” Before Jesus can answer, His phone begins to ring.

Let’s press pause.

What do you think He does? Does He ignore the ringing call or the barista standing three feet in front of Him? What if the call is important? What if Jairus is calling about His ill daughter?

Sure, the scenario may be humorous and exaggerated  but the principles behind the questions are similar: would Jesus ignore the very people standing momentarily in front of Him to attend to whatever alert or notification He received on His phone?

What Love Looks Like

The question boils down to how can we best love those around us?

In a letter of John’s, a disciple of Jesus, He stated: “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

According to John, to really love someone means to give up your life for other people, placing their needs and well-being above your own. Real love disregards that text message or SnapChat because there are other people standing in front of you with real names, real stories, and real souls worthy of real love.

I can’t help but think that, without losing eye contact with the barista, Jesus would click off His ring tone, and reply, “I’m good. How are you?”

2 thoughts on “Christians and Their Phones

  1. Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!!! I work at Chipotle and this is one of my biggest pet peeves! People pay no attention as they are ordering as they are so entranced by their phones… and then they hold up the line for everyone else. I’ve had to yell several times at people just to get their attention when it’s their turn to order.

    I had one college girl during a lunch rush stand three feet away from the tortilla station clueless that it was her turn to order. After yelling at her multiple times and the person tapping her shoulder, she finally moved up. She got to the tortilla station and sat there looking at her phone. I said, “Ma’am, what can I get started for you today?” And she looked up and whispered (which is another pet peeve), “burrito.” I put the tortilla on the press and continued to ask her, “white or brown rice?” No answer. Still looking at phone. I repeat. She looks up, agitated, and whispers, “brown.” I proceed to ask her which beans…….. same thing. I repeat. She says, “black.” At this point, I’m ready for the next person to take her down the line cuz i’m frustrated and done dealing with her. ha! She proceeds like this down the entire line holding up everyone else in line behind her. She gets to the cashier, still looking down at her phone, and holds us up for a good two minutes. And THEN… she forgot to ask for tortillas and salsas on the side…… So we had to get those for her. I wanted to yell, “PLEASE PAY ATTENTION!!!”

    And then you have the people who have headphones in and try to order when they are clearly talking on the phone. That causes all kinds of confusion. And they get mad at you, because you can’t hear them as they are whispering. So they jerk out their headphone (out of one ear as to not cut off the person that is clearly more important to them at the moment than the people making their food) and get snappy as if you caused them some inconvenience.

    People… please, please, please pay attention when placing your order. Not only are you showing that you care about the person in front of you, but also the people behind you. Whatever you are looking at can wait the 2-3 minutes it takes you to get from the tortilla station to when you get to your seat.

    I did not mean for this to end up being a rant. haha! People just don’t understand how much work we do to gladly serve them and how much craziness we endure to make sure they have some of the best food, have a great experience, and get through the line as quickly as possible. Yes, it is our job… but that does not make us less of a human. It’s 113 degrees outside this week… I promise you we are feeling that heat and even more when we are surrounded by a grill, hot food, and tortilla press – all without any air conditioning on the line/back of house. So please be considerate and at least try to be a little grateful. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences bro. I think that most people who have never worked in customer service are completely clueless as to how people in that environment feel when they are treated this way. We get so caught up in our own worlds that we forget the people right in front of us.

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