Trey LaSane: Free-doom?

BVP is always looking to feature teacher and staff voices on our blog. We invite them to contribute a short piece on a topic that’s meaningful to them.

Today’s post comes from Trey LaSane, a mathematics teacher at our high school.


How many of us remember having a specific conversation about worshipping while in school? I know that I can’t think of a single time. Isn’t it something that’s not allowed in school? Or is it something we are supposed to simply keep private? Like freedom, it’s this thing that we kinda sorta have a grasp of. I think our phones (the devices many of you are reading this from) are a good example to explain these concepts.

We are all afforded the choice to use our phone, with very few limits. When it buzzes, do we check it? When it lights up, do we respond? No matter what our phone is showing us, we do what it asks us to do. Texts, notifications, alerts…you name it. It doesn’t even matter what it is. We’ve committed in a way that says “whatever our phone wants to tell us, we are responding when asked to.” Even when we want to do something different, like going to sleep, spending time with someone, or thinking about something different, our phone is telling us “pay attention to me”.

And we LOVE our phones. Why? Because, unlike humans, loving a phone is easy. Phones are machines that do everything we tell them to do. When we swipe, it swipes, when we press buttons, it responds. There’s nothing that we can’t tell your phone to do that it won’t do. We can’t just tell someone to stop yelling in the halls right? But we can press “DND” on our phone in an instant. Are loving and responding to our phones in this way an act of worship?

I know that some of us are thinking, “but wait Mr., there are humans on the other side of that phone.” Sure there are, and in some cases, our phone is saying: use me to talk to that person. It’s not necessarily wrong, but we disconnect from our consciousness of others when we only rely on our phones.

There’s the saying “I didn’t choose the game, the game chose me.” I think we chose initially to use our phones, but now we can’t escape them. We are now connected to people so much through phones that we can decide when to interrupt their lives as we please. We can come and go whenever we want. The connection that our phone has to such a wide range of people changes the nature of the phone itself. We are free to leave what is in front of us into the world we cannot see. We can trust that the connection will happen without having to think about it. Is this not faith?

While a teacher could take our phone, they can’t take our connection away. Our phone wants to tell us something, and we think about that. We wonder what notifications are popping up. We begin to worry that we missed something. The freedom that we thought we had might just be free-doom.

— Trey LaSane