Reading Andy Crouch’s The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place could well be the best gift you ever give your family. Crouch writes about one of the greatest anxieties parents face while raising their children today: digital technologies and their colonizing influence on family life. This small, biblically grounded book is a great start to getting the discussion going at the dinner table or on the drive home from school.
However, the “Ten Tech-Wise Commitments” that Crouch puts forward are anything but easy to implement. Consider, for instance, technology Sabbaths—no digital contact for an hour a day, a day a week, and a week a year. And no cell phone next to your bed. Did you know that over 85 percent of teens and 75 percent of adults sleep with cell phones within easy reach?
Crouch asserts that families are for nurturing wisdom and courage in children. “Easy everywhere” technologies make this task difficult. The author borrows just the right amount of Barna research to underscore his themes and throws in some honest feedback from his own family’s attempts at holding themselves to the commitments. While challenging, these suggestions are rooted in a deep belief that, given space from the ping of cell phones, families can be nurtured away from anxiety toward places of flourishing once again. “We are meant for so much more than technology can ever give.”
Crouch’s accessible book is a must-read for all parents. But it will only be worth the read if you are willing to engage the challenges. (Baker)