The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place
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The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place

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Product Description

Reclaim real life in a world of technology. Making good choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen-time limits for our children. It's about building character, wisdom, and courage.

Alongside in-depth research from Barna Group that shows how families are wrestling with technology's new realities, Andy Crouch takes parents beyond the typical questions of what, where, and when to show us that in a world full of devices, there's a way to choose a better life than we've imagined.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801018668
ISBN-13: 9780801018664

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

Andy Crouch--author, speaker, musician, and dad--has shaped the way our generation sees culture, creativity, and the gospel. In addition to his books Culture Making, Playing God, and Strong and Weak, his work has been featured in Time, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Lecrae's 2014 single "Non-Fiction." He was executive editor of Christianity Today from 2012 to 2016 and is now senior strategist for communication at the John Templeton Foundation. He lives with his family in Pennsylvania.

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  1. Chris
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An excellent book that's more than just about technology
    June 12, 2017
    Chris
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I always appreciate Andy Crouch's books. They are so insightful and wise. I appreciate his nuanced and informed discussions on important topics like culture, power, and, in the case of his new book, technology. In The Tech-Wise Family, Crouch doesn't just give us a parenting book. Quite the opposite, in fact. Instead, we have extended discussions on the purpose of family, character building, and how to structure one's time and spaces to cultivate and encourage creativity. With recent research from the Barna Group, Crouch gives us helpful directions on how to aid our families live in ways which promote human flourishing and how to use technology without becoming enslaved to it. As with his other works, I highly recommend this book.
  2. theChristianReviewer
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A new one for the must-read list!
    June 3, 2017
    theChristianReviewer
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place" by Andy Crouch is a fantastic book to help build relationships in your family and those around you without being hindered by our overly digitized culture that we live in. The author compares that infamous "blue light" that we all light up our faces with (TV, cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) against the potentially ill-effects it has on us like loneliness, false and/or shallow relationships, health issues and many more. This book was very convicting for me. I would highly recommend this book for anyone to read. However, if you are starting out a family with young kids, or currently at the early stages in your life, this book would be an amazing thing for you to read and implement some of the very practical ideas that the author presents. I would classify this book among one of those must-reads - especially living in the culture we currently are in. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Booksand all opinions are my own.
  3. AmyL
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Building a Tech-Wise Family
    May 27, 2017
    AmyL
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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.
  4. Rachel
    Whitehall, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    10 Tech-Wise Commitments for Thinking through How You Use Technology
    May 22, 2017
    Rachel
    Whitehall, PA
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It's tough to know how to parent when there are so many technological devices around. We can't really look back to see how our parents did it or how generations before us handled iPhones and tablets and internet. In our house, my technology parenting questions are mostly a result of my son creating a YouTube channel and animating with Flash. Of course, he also wants to spend a lot of time watching and listening to things online. My girls like to watch things and play Minecraft or Prodigy or search for crafts on Pinterest. So I am always left with questions like:

    -Once my son's screen time is completed, is it okay for his to listen to music on YouTube with the window minimized? Or is that just for screen time?

    -Should I give him as much time on the computer as his sisters get? Or should he get more so he has time to create?

    -What should I do when I give each girl an hour of screen time and they stack it and plan it so they all get to watch 3 hours of screen time? Should I prevent them from doing that? Or is it good that they problem solved and planned together?

    When I saw The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch, I was hoping the author would have some simple answers for me. Like, exactly how much time should a 12 year old spend in front of screen each day? Unfortunately, I didn't get any easy answers. What I did get was something better. Andy Crouch gave 10 Tech-Wise Commitments and plenty of other thoughts to mull over about how I approach and view technology not only for my kids, but for my life as well.

    Here are the thoughts that especially caught my attention:

    -He uses a broad definition of technology. When I use the word technology, I am generally referring to a computer or TV screen used for mostly entertainment. But The Tech-Wise Family defines technology as anything that makes life easy or everywhere like electric lights, refrigerators, and cars in addition to all the amazing technological advancements in the computer age. I appreciated this and it made me feel connected to parents of the past who had to parent through new technologies. They just weren't the same inventions that I have to navigate through. Can you imagine being a parent during the time cars were first invented? Talk about some major parenting and technology decisions! That makes navigating my kid's Kindles seem easy!

    -Technology is not bad. I find myself as a parent fighting against technology so much that I've begun to see it as bad. But Andy Crouch reminds me that it's not bad. It's neutral. Yes, it is often distracting and displaces our real work. He says our real work is to become persons of wisdom and courage. He also encourages us to create and cultivate. Technology is neutral in this. It can help us or prevent us from wisdom, courage, creation, and cultivation. It depends how we are using it. I really appreciated this thought when it came to how I view my sons time on the computer when he is animating. I used to look at him while he was doing it thinking about how I can get him off. Now, especially after I saw some of his little cartoons, I see that he is creating when he is animating. In this case, the technology is helping him become a person who creates. Now when my daughter says "that's not fair, I should be able to watch Netflix for as long as he animates"....ummm....no. And usually when I say no, she pouts for a minute and then goes and rides her bike or plays outside or asks to help cook. And she is much happier because of it.

    Andy Crouch says the question is: "Does this use of technology make me the kind of human being who could contribute lasting value to my family, my neighbors, my society, and our broken world?" A great question! And not just for the kids.

    -Arrange your home to encourage creating, skill, and active engagement. He challenged us to look around our living room. What do we have available in these common spaces to encourage us towards wisdom and courage? Are there books? Musical instruments? Art supplies? What is in the room that distracts us from those goals? Get rid of the distractions (put them out of the room or out of sight) and purposefully bring in what encourages us.

    -Technology has changed work into toil and rest into leisure. I appreciated the way he defined these terms. He also readily admitted that you may not be able to change the nature of your 9-to-5 toil into work, but you can take the opportunity to rest when you can and realize that mindlessly scrolling through Facebook is not rest. How much of my free time do I spend resting and how much do I cram it with leisure? He says we simply have to turn off the easy fixes and make media something we use on purpose and rarely rather than aimlessly and frequently.



    I highly recommend The Tech-Wise Family. Most of the time I was reading this book, I forgot that it was a parenting book. I think that any person living today that uses any kind of technology would benefit from the book.

    It's an easy read and conversational. I also appreciated the reality check at the end of each chapter where Andy Crouch let us know how easy or hard that particular principle was to apply to his own family. That gave the whole book a we are all in this together feel knowing the author is working on these principles, too.

    rachelschmoyerwrites.com
  5. Just Commonly
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    insightful and highly applicable,
    May 10, 2017
    Just Commonly
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    ". . . 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.
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