The following is a guest post by Luke Goodwin. Luke is a history teacher at Matamata College, a part-time farmer, and a great friend.

Technological obsolescence is about to hit my pocket. The phone I bought a year and a half ago is about to become un-update-able. The computer in my front pocket is dangerously close to being junk because the software company is making the programming too good for me to use.

I only bought this phone because the same thing happened to the phone before. And this is actually the second handset of this updated phone that I’ve had because the first one crashed and couldn’t be fixed. The company replaced it for free – win!

So I’ve just been through the tedious process of restoring apps and remembering all my passwords and the news is out – my phone’s no good no more. If I follow the software company into the latest phone in order to continue to use my e-stuff, that’ll be my fourth phone in two years.

I’m not just spending a lot of time scrolling through newsfeeds. I’m spending a lot of money. And I’m tacitly endorsing dodgy employment practices in far-off lands.

Ethical consumer choices are pretty much de rigueur. I can dress professionally-ish out of the Op-Shop and no one looks askance at me. But could I go back to a phone that just, y’know, handles phone calls and maybe texts? Would people raise their eyebrows? A phone that could last me longer than all my last three or four all together?

Could I empty my hands of distractions that hurt the poor and turn them to something that might help?

Use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. – Ephesians 4:28b

I’m not just spending a lot of time scrolling through newsfeeds. I’m spending a lot of money. And I’m tacitly endorsing dodgy employment practices in far-off lands. And I’m consuming a lot of toxic resources used to produce and freight the phones.

A portable phone that handles phone calls and maybe texts looks positively sci-fi when you immerse yourself in the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder, best known by their TV series incarnation, The Little House on the Prairie.

I’ve only read one and a bit books so far but if the zombie apocalypse hits (in fact, any apocalypse), these books will be a veritable handbook for survival off the land. What has this to do with ethical choices? It is not just children in China that deserve a break. The Earth is also worthy of justice.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time – Romans 8:22 – because of the exploitation of her generous bounty in the name of a quick buck.

So I’m having to mull over whether a new smart phone is the right thing to do.