Did you know smartphones are designed to be irresistible? One former Google employee says features like “pull to refresh” were inspired by slot machines and other casino games.

Believers in the U.S. confront technology addictions with Scripture at The Lighthouse. “In our addiction programming, we’re seeing guys, as soon as they get money to get a cell phone, they’re online, they’re gaming,” Executive Director Brandon Bower says.

“Their hearts are consumed with their phones and technology. It can become a real problem, specifically when prioritizing technology above our daily needs or relationships.”

There’s an ever-growing spectrum of technology addictions. One couple recently sought help from The Lighthouse for an addiction to online gaming. “It was a court-ordered thing because they were ignoring their family, and CPS [Child Protective Services] got involved,” Bower says.

“They had these ‘battle stations’ set up in their living room. When she came to counselling, he monitored both battle stations and vice versa. They took turns sleeping so that they could play whatever they were playing 24/7, and their family was suffering because of their addiction to these games.”

In nearly every case they encounter at The Lighthouse, Bower says, “Technology’s replaced relationships, which is a really dangerous place for people to be.”

Young people aren’t the only ones battling tech addictions. “Seniors are also struggling with this; they’re not in relationship. They’re sitting at home doing their Farmville or little games where you’re matching squares and circles,” Bower adds.

Thankfully, the Bible provides answers. “With any addiction, we talk about heart issues, and then we take people right to Scripture,” Bower says.

“For example, James 1:14 and 15 says this: ‘But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desires and enticed. Then, after that desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings death,’” he continues.

“Technology is not wrong. But when technology replaces good things, it leads to all sorts of chaos in our lives.”

“If you or someone you love is trapped in a technology addiction, why don’t you reach out for help? Talk to your pastor [or] Google biblical counselor; find someone who can help you turn your desires away from sinful things towards Christ,” Bower says.

“That’s what The Lighthouse does; email us or visit our website lhfw.org. We’d be more than happy to point you in those directions.”