Some of us have fat-thumbing mad-skills. For those who don’t understand, this is about smartphone usage. It means some of us who communicate on our smartphones foul things up as we type on these tiny screens with our thumbs, misspelling and more.

One of the bigger mistakes I’ve nearly deeply regretted is a little humorous. In an effort to try to be encouraging, I intended to thumb the words, “I hope he does.” However, I fat-thumbed it and accidentally thumbed, “I hope he dies.” Oops. The saving grace was I caught it before I sent it. Whew!

These smartphones can be trained by our errors, as well. If you fat-thumb and misspell a word, it gives you options to click correctly spelled choices. One option is a simple check mark. You click that if you want that word to be added to your phone’s vocabulary of correct words. In a world where we have so many variants in spellings of names, it’s good to be able to add correct spellings of loved ones.

The problem is some of us misspell and fat-thumb the check mark, accidentally adding a misspelled word to our smart phone’s vocabulary. From then on, our phones can automatically assume we want to misspell that word every time thereafter. Nice.

When I fat-thumb something and post it for the world to see out there, I’m tempted to follow up with a statement like, “Dumb smartphone user!” Then again, I’m also tempted to simply admit my fat-thumbing ways.

It’s not the smartphone’s fault. It’s the user. When we key in misspelled words and it tries to correct us, but we tell it our way is the right way, well, we commanded it wrong.

In the 80s as computers were just becoming a more common thing, we adopted the phrase, “Garbage in. Garbage out.” 

We learned early that the information we input into computers is the information that comes out. Some noted it’s the same with people. What we pour into our minds is what comes out of our mouths and into our lives.

It’s just as true today as it was then. The difference today is we’ve muddied the waters on what is actually good and bad information. 

Our supposed sources for facts are increasingly questionable as biases cloud judgments. Extreme divisiveness has blinded people to rational thought. Too many rely on their favorite cable news source or bias-driven social media.

We rush to judgment even on big matters we can’t possibly know that much about. Just recently our nasty partisanship reared its ugly head as the United States took out terrorist leaders. Obviously, the common citizen doesn’t have inside information on either side of the debate. Neither does the media. Only “need to know” people do. Yet, we jump to conclusions because partisan sources are quick to give us information — information that is not sufficient to make a judgment call. Still, we do.

Garbage in. Garbage out.

Some local churches have encouraged members to take a break from screen time. People have decided to “fast” from television or social media for several days. Good for them. They’re missing out on a lot of garbage, and will be more prone to spew less garbage.

Consider reducing the amount of unnecessary bad data you allow into your mind. Think about reducing screen time, changing the channel or fasting from screens for a time. Maybe less garbage would spew from our mouths or into our lives.

Jesus said, “Pay close attention to what you hear (Mark 4:24a and Luke 8:18a).” 

That’s good advice. Let’s do that!

•••

Pastor Jeff Adams is a professional Christian counselor who travels the world teaching but serves our community. His column appears weekly. He can be reached by email at jeffreydadams@hotmail.com.

 

 

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