As I mentioned in my post “The Best Quotes from 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You,” I have spent some time this year reading on the effects that technology has on our lives, families, and neighborhoods. This reading project brought me to Andy Crouch’s The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place.
In The Tech-Wise Family, Crouch shares commitments that families can make that will help them utilize what is good about technology while preventing it from running our lives. The result is that we get to prioritize that which is beautiful and character-building over that which is trivial and mundane. I highly recommend that parents read through this book, discuss it together, and think through how to apply its advice to their family life.
Here are my favorite quotes from The Tech-Wise Family.
“My iPhone’s wonder generators, from Instagram to Temple Run, turn out only to be distractions from the things that really spark wonder.” (12, written by his daughter Amy in the Foreword)
“But I do know this: if we don’t learn to put technology, in all its forms, in its proper place, we will miss out on many of the best parts of life in a family.” (17)
“An awful lot of children born in 2007, turning ten years old as this book is published, have been competing with their parents’ screens their whole lives.” (26-27)
“Technology is only very good if it can help us become the persons we were meant to be.” (63)
“So, here’s where we have to start if we are going to live as flourishing families in an age of easy everywhere: we are going to have to decide, together, that nothing is more important than becoming people of wisdom and courage.” (67-68)
“Find the room where your family spends the most time and ruthlessly eliminate the things that ask little of you and develop little in you.” (79)
“As technology has filled our lives with more and more easy everywhere, we do less and less of the two things human beings were made to do. We are supposed to work and we are supposed to rest.” (83)
“Sleep specialists widely recommend that, once night comes, the bedroom should be reserved for one thing: sleep (and for the parents, romance.) Make it so.” (118)
“We don’t ‘have’ souls any more than we ‘have’ bodies. We are both, soul and body together, and the Christian faith, teaches that they were always meant to go together and, thanks to the resurrection of the body, always will.” (123)
“The less we rely on screens to occupy and entertain our children, the more they become capable of occupying and entertaining themselves.” (133)
“In the history of the human race, boredom is practically brand new– less than three hundred years old.” (139)
“The technology that promises to release us from boredom is actually making it worse–making us more prone to seek empty distractions than we have ever been. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more you entertain children, the more bored they will get.” (141)
“The problem isn’t with our devices themselves–it’s with the way we use them. We simply have to turn off the easy fixes and make media something we use on purpose rather than aimlessly and frequently.” (149)
“The tragedy of our omnipresent devices, Turkle suggests, is the way they prevent almost any conversation from unfolding in this way. A conversation interrupted several times before the seven-minute mark does not get deeper more slowly: it stays shallow, as each party makes room for the other to opt out and return to their device. What might be on the other side of the seven-minute mark, we never find out.” (157-158)
“An astonishing 62 percent of teenagers say they have received a nude image on their phone, and 40 percent say they have sent one.” (169)
“When our lives are empty of relationships, porn’s relationship-free vision of sex rushes in to fill the void.” (171)
“Nearly half of teenagers who use porn, according to Barna’s research, say they do so out of boredom– higher than for any other age group.” (172)
“Until children reach adulthood, parents should have total access to their children’s devices.” (177)
“Worship calls us out of the small pleasures of an easy-everywhere world to the real joy and burden of bearing the image of God in a world where nothing is easy, everything is broken, and yet redemption is possible.” (189)
“We are meant to live this kind of life together: the kind of life that, in the end, is completely dependent upon one another; the kind of life that ultimately transcends, and does not need, the easy solutions of technology because it is caught up in something more true and more lasting than any alchemy our technological world can invent.” (204)
“The Best Quotes from 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You“