Making conscientious choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen time limits for our children. It's about developing wisdom, character, and courage in the way we use digital media rather than accepting technology's promises of ease, instant gratification, and the world's knowledge at our fingertips. And it's definitely not just about the kids.
Drawing on in-depth original research from the Barna Group, Andy Crouch shows readers that the choices we make about technology have consequences we may never have considered. He takes readers beyond the typical questions of what, where, and when and instead challenges them to answer provocative questions like, Who do we want to be as a family? and How does our use of a particular technology move us closer or farther away from that goal? Anyone who has felt their family relationships suffer or their time slip away amid technology's distractions will find in this book a path forward to reclaiming their real life in a world of devices.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
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Crouch's goal in this book is to help us "reclaim real life in a world of devices." He recognizes the fact that we can't separate our lives from technology. Crouch knows that we can't escape technology. It's a major part of life today. And it's here to stay. But Crouch also recognizes that if we want our families to be connected, we need to live our lives differently. In The Tech-Wise Family, Crouch suggests ten commitments that will help your family begin to cultivate a family that uses technology as a tool rather than being ruled by technology. One of the things I loved most was the fact that Crouch was honest with where things worked, and where his family still struggles. His own daughter wrote the forward, at age 16, sharing how being a tech-wise family helped to shape her. That in and of itself was a big enough testimony for me to want to embrace this lifestyle. I've seen families that have not been ruled by technology myself, and those families are definitely some of the most connected I've seen. This book isn't a recommendation to throw your television out. But it's a reminder to be smart about how you use technology for your family. Crouch says: Figuring out the proper place for technology in our particular family and stage of life requires discernment rather than a simple formula. Not every family is going to look alike. But as Christians, we all rely on the same source - God - to help us decide how to shape and form our family home. Our homes aren't meant to be just refueling stations, places where we and our devices rest briefly, top up our charge, and then go back to frantic activity. They are meant to be places where the very best of life happens. We desire our home to be a hub of laughter and family. Of community and open doors. We want to be a connected family. Not a group of individuals occupying the same space. It's not an easy task. And I'm by no means getting it right at this point in time. But I'm taking a wide look at things. And that's the most important thing. We must constantly evaluate the status of how things are going and make correction as it's needed. That's how you become a tech-wise family. One of the biggest takeaways was the reminder that no matter what we chose to do regarding technology in our home, "we are not here as parents to make their [our children's] lives easier but to make them better." We need to shape all of our technology use around the idea that we can and must shape our children. It's our job as parents to help our children discern right from wrong, good from bad. And the only way to do that is to build relationships. To build healthy communication habits and utilize those habits to help shape your child into the human God desires them to be. With incredible amounts of research provided by Barna Group, Crouch lays out ways to create a home that is tech-wise. To create a home that focuses on relationship, growth, and learning in a way that isn't dependent upon screens. This book isn't prescriptive. It's full of general guidelines that will help you figure out what works best for your family. In your specific stage of life. I received a copy of this book from Baker Books. This review is my own, honest opinion.
Author Andy Crouch has designed a plan for his family around the use of technology. Specifically how it invades family life and diminishes many areas of individuality. His approach is to teach and follow 10 specific "commandments" around technology. In this book he shares with us these commandments, how to apply them to our families, and what the benefit has been employing them over the years. I found the book compelling and yet somewhat confusing. Compelling because I could see the reason for the 10 rules of technology engagement, confusing because of the use of collected data from the Barca Group. While it was all important information, they appeared to be haphazardly placed on a page often interrupting the flow of a paragraph. Add to this the fact Andy rarely references the research and the reader may be left wondering if these graphs were of great value to the book or just added information to reinforce the authors views. This said I believe his rules are very applicable and easy to place in family life, though there will certainly be some push back from the family. I will be using them as reference to create a list for my family in the near future, likely manipulating some of the factors as they we have passed some milestones in age with our children. What I discovered from this book as a whole is the open nature of its writing. Though it is written in a Christian perspective with some reference to God and church, the lessons within can be applied to any family dynamic as they approach family as vital and reveal how technology can diminish this relationship. If you are young in life, or moving along, you may want to pick this book up for a glance and see how you can make simple changes to improve and seal the life within your household. *I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. These are my personal thoughts*
This is one of those books that I wish I had read 15 years ago. It did not exist when my children started using social media and technology. As a middle aged parent of adult and teen children we spent a big chunk of our time navigating blindly for the start of this social media age. Looking back I realize that I was making decisions about things as they came up rather than making a plan to avoid the pitfalls of this world we are living in now. Andy Crouch's book will change all of that for parents and families today. This book gives 10 excellent strategies for, as the title says, putting technology in it's proper place. Crouch even goes so far as to encourage us to turn it off completely for part of each day. Sound hard? With Andy's 10 strategies you might find it easier than you think. This book is not about trashing our technology and moving out into an isolate cabin somewhere. Crouch fully believes there is a place for technology in our world today. He just feels, as do I, that we should step away sometimes and be a family. We should have meals together with real conversations and game nights indoors and out, and spend time reading stories or listen to music together. He boldly says that maybe we should even PLAY music together. I love that suggestion, by the way. The book is loaded with results from the latest Barna Research Group study on how technology is impacting our lives and families. Crouch takes that data and provides some very practical ways to change the trends we see toward isolation and addiction caused by our overuse of such devices. By paying just a little more attention to our habits we can make changes to have more meaningful family and friend time. All it takes is realizing we need to set these devices aside for part of our day, week and even for up to a week or two a year. Crouch is very candid at the end of each chapter with a personal evaluation on how his own family is doing in each realm. He is very honest in saying that sometimes they are still struggling to make some changes but that it is a work in progress. His family is certainly better for these 10 strategies, though. He addresses something that I have continually seen in my reading this year.... Sabbath. It is not only important for us to take time to rest but to let our devices rest, too. We don't let them rest for their sake. We set them aside for our sake. This book is not a giant thick read. It is divided into very practical chapters that are quick to read and will have you thinking about how you can be more present in your own life. I hope you will take the time to read a copy of this book and focus more on what is really important in this world. Let us all put technology in it's proper place and live our lives with more focus on the most important things in this lifetime while we can. You can read more about Andy Crouch and this and other books he has written on his website This book was sent to me by Baker Books for free. All they ask in return is that I read and review it with my own personal unbiased opinion. I absolutely loved this book and will be recommending it to every family I can. I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars
“. . . if we don't learn to put technology, in all its form, in its proper place, we will miss out on many of the best parts of life in a family.” (17) The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch should be read by every parent or any family. It's insightful and highly applicable, especially in this technologically inclined era. Though it is categorized in the "Christian Living" section, besides a chapter that focused on the worship aspect, the emphasis elsewhere isn't forceful or intense. In other words, I don't find this preachy at all. Therefore, I think it will be great for all families, Christian or not. The author has a way with his words that seem approachable. He's not saying technology is bad or to the extreme that all should avoid it. “The proper place for technology won't be exactly the same for every family, and it is not the same at every season of our lives..” (19) With understanding as a parent, he provides personal examples and understanding on the good and the bad. Even for someone who isn't a parent yet, like myself, The Tech-Wise Family opens for appreciation for the practicality of technology, but also warn against the over indulgence or misuse of it, creating barriers between family members, even if that consists of just husband and wife. There's a certain perception when it comes to a "tech-wise" family, as well as what media portrays as, but I agree with the author in the fact of what the cost of it can be. “The truth is that our children, just like us, will spend far too much of their lives tethered to glowing rectangles. We owe them, at the very minimum, early years of real, embodied, difficult, rewarding learning, the kind that screens cannot provide. ” (131) As a Christian, I also appreciate how the author does include the relation of technology and church, and Christian living. It's a nice reminder, or a welcome insight. The acuity towards faith and family definitely adds to the prowess of The Tech-Wise Family that I do hope will be a blessing to all who reads it. “Worship reminds us of the shape of true life. One of the biggest threats to wisdom and virtue in a technological age is that we can easily settle for something less than the best. ” (189) Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.