The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch

Officially, I am a millennial, but I am definitely a first batch millennial. Growing up I remember not having a computer in the house, no one had a cell phone, and our televisions were gigantic, heavy blocks. Over the years, those things changed. We got a computer in beautiful beige. My dad had a brick-sized cellphone. Eventually, my mom had a cool flip phone with a retractable antenna. By the time I graduated high school, every student had a cell phone in their pocket and most had a laptop in their bag. Things changed quickly for me, I cannot imagine what it must feel like for my parents or grandparents.

Technology changes all the time and it is here to stay. Running away from technology and becoming Amish is not the answer. The key is understanding how to use technology wisely.

The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch is about creating proper boundaries and limitations for technology. Crouch’s biggest objection to modern technology can be reduced to one simple concept: technology consumes us, distracting us from our creative instincts. New technologies are always advertised as time-saving, life-changing products. We would be absolutely foolish to ignore these inventions of untold rewards. Crouch, rightly so, does not see it this way. He sees technology as mindless distractions from our creative, human potential.

Creating is one of the big things that makes us human, but creating is difficult. It takes a lot of effort, a lot of time, and inevitable and uncomfortable failure. Crouch repeats this throughout this book. He advocates moving the television out of the way for musical instruments. He replaces smartphones with the paintbrush.

If this seems too idyllic, it is. Even Crouch admits to this at the end of each chapter by sharing his family experiences. There is no perfect formula on how and when to use technology, but asking yourself the question of why we use it should answer a lot of your questions.

I am not sure if this book will speak to most families. If you pick up this book then you probably have already begun to ask the right questions. This book is definitely not written by a technophobe or an old, grizzled man who yells at kids for driving too fast and wearing bagging pants. This book is an honest look at technology that can create a conversation that can last for years.