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

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  2,925 ratings  ·  565 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Baker Books (first published April 2017)
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Steven Wedgeworth
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a tremendous little book. It's written on a popular level and has really slick production, complete with charts and graphic arts, but Crouch manages to get into some deep material at the same time. He offers 10 principles to control technology, which he distinguishes from mere tools in that it does the work for you and turns you into a consumer rather than a producer. These principles are:

1- Develop wisdom and courage as a family
2- Center your home around creation rather than
I didn't expect a book dealing with everyday use of technology would be so encouraging, so beautifully written, and so deeply moving. But it's Andy Crouch, so there's that.
Mark Jr.
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, kindle, 2017
Andy Crouch is among the first parents to have nurtured children from clearly-too-young-to-have-a-smartphone to now-old-enough, during a time in which smartphones were in fact available for that whole period. It's only been ten years since the iPhone's debut. And in that time Crouch's eldest child went from eight (too young) to eighteen (old enough). So Crouch is able to speak from a place of not just wisdom but also experience. In fact, his "Crouch Family Reality Checks" at the end of most ...more
Kayla Rakita
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A friend gifted this book to my husband after we had a baby (she’s ten months old now, so it’s taken me a long time to get through) because we realized we are facing a huge dilemma in raising this kid that our parents didn’t face when raising us: how do you navigate the inescapable presence of technology and devices? The reason why I only gave three stars is because some parts had me rolling my eyes — like this sentence: “I do almost all of my writing, almost all of which requires a screen, in ...more
Jillian Vincent
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t this! So pleasantly surprised by how moving this book was. It was not a list of rules, but rather a manifesto on getting back to who God created us to be. The chapters on singing, making nudges away from consumption and towards creativity, showing up in person for the important things in life, including how we die, were notable and memorable. I loved the “reality checks” at the end of each guideline that brought it back down to earth. ...more
Jordan Shirkman
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Andy Crouch’s 10 commitments are helpful guidelines for families in a technology age. Immensely practical, written from a place of humble successes and failures, and encouraging perspective on how to lead a godly family well in the 21st century. A book I’m certain I’ll reference regularly.
Jackie Eason
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is an interesting conglomeration of a couple good rules, very biased, somewhat arrogant opinions, very little Scripture, and some research that is true to the topic but not extremely helpful. After reading 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke, this fell short of the helpfulness for the topic.

He began by saying, “As a Christian, I actually don’t believe the biological family is the main place we are meant to be known and loved.” He says the church is. I understand what he’
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite good. Some excellent advice, and a great paradigm to think about the issue of technology without being overly luddite. Unlike some proposals, this one is actually manageable.
Kaitlyn Carl
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some ideas were a bit too radical for me, but overall, I think he brought up some great points about keeping technology in its proper place and actively working to avoid the “easy, everywhere” that the world offers today. We’ll definitely be putting some of these commitments into practice!
Shawn Paterson
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very important topic to think through. Pastors ought to be encouraging and leading families in this area.
Claire Johnson
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great little book! As a family, we already followed a lot of these principles unknowingly, but there were some takeaways and new things I’m excited to implement!
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very useful book indeed. Practical and realistic steps to take to harness & get technology under control in family life. Positive & hopeful, even inspirational in places, providing a glimpse of what a remarkable thing a Christian family can be. Crouch presumes rather than explicitly addresses gospel & biblical principles for family life, other books are better for those crucial foundations. The Barna research graphs and stats were unnecessary distractions for the most part.
Kelly Sauskojus
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Helpfully reorients the conversation from “what rules should I follow?” to “what kind of person do I want to become?”
Rachel Medeiros
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was really excited when this book came up in a group chat I'm in with other Christian school educators. As a middle school teacher in a 1:1 environment (every student has a laptop) in the Silicon Valley, I'm becoming more and more interested in how we can support families in making wise technology boundaries at home. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be Tim Keller-esque, combining psychology with Christian theology and practical, real-life application. I started with ...more
Drew Bennett
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
My advice: buy everything that Andy Crouch writes and read it. This book is no exception. Immediately tried to put into practice: 1 hr/day... 1 day/wk... 1 wk/yr. Many friends have made big changes in response to reading this book. None of them regret the changes they've made. Very helpful book on a very important topic.
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gladly recommended.

Some highlights (all verbatim quotes):

Science is hard. Technology is easy. 51

So here’s the complicated, wonderful truth. If our families are to be all that they are meant to be—schools of wisdom and courage—they will have to become more like the church, households where we are actively formed into something more than our culture would ask us to be. And if our churches are to be all they are meant to be, they will have to become more like a family—household-like contexts of
Teri Pardue
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This little book has some powerful things to say and is worth spending an afternoon (or two) reading.

I appreciated Crouch’s reasonable approach to technology - its good and its bad (as seen in the quote below).

My one major disappointment with this book were all the statistics. I feel like they weakened Crouch’s points by trying to back them up with “research” (and, I’m sorry, but 1000 internet surveys do not good research make). They are vague and mostly unscientific and invalid. Crouch’s
Clara Biesel
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe 3 1/2 stars? I'm not the target audience here, as I do not have kids, and there's so much that's beautiful here that I don't want to come down too hard on all of this. I guess I would have preferred to have either a "here are the choices we've made (and why) and here are the benefits we've seen" or a "from my extensive research I've seen these trends and come to these conclusions about how we can engage thoughtfully with our technology and our world." What it is is more of a "The choices ...more
Logan Thune
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been learning that when Andy Crouch says something, we would do well to listen. This book is no exception. What our families and communities need is courage and wisdom as we navigate life with technology all around us. While advances in technology create ease of life and leisure, do they really shape and develop us into full and flourishing human beings—beings made by God to worship him and to care deeply for one another? Filled with stats and research, The Tech-Wise Family sheds important ...more
Susanna Paul
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for every modern--especially parents.

An interesting and provocative take on the presence, and unconscious centrality of technology in our homes. Crouch pushes us to move past passive consumerism to becoming active creators; and a courageous people who shape our own lives and homes. Even if you do not agree with his 10 family resolutions (or the somewhat extreme degree in which he takes them), it is a great starting point for discussing and thinking about what you DO believe and how
Peter Jones
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book on how to put technology in its proper place. I have two teenage boys with smart phones, as well as numerous other kids who want computer time or phone time. I wish I had read this earlier. There are lots of cool charts and graphs, but overall the emphasis is on three things: putting character, creating space at home where creativity and character are first, structuring time. Crouch is a clear writer, which helps. I am going to implement some of his suggestions.

I thought some
Jeff Skipper
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin? This is the best, most practical book I've read so far in 2017. It's a short, easy read, too. I can't recommend it enough. Deep down I've wanted to make some changes & lead my family better in this area, but have lacked the self-discipline, courage, & direction. Thankfully, this book came along and has pushed me where I've wanted to go. We've already started to implement some of these changes in our home ("shaping the space", as Crouch calls it-- pushing the tech to the ...more
Adam Ricks
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Would recommend to all. I really like all of his ideas and hope to implement many of them in our home. One of my favorite parts of the book was how he ended each chapter with how his family has done on each of his suggestions. Nice to see the examples and real life application at work.

I liked how the focus of the book was really about what kind of family you want to be and what kind of people you want to be and raise. It's not just about putting down the screens, but is also about
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think the principles are very sound and I think this book has the potential to help many families learn how to take tech out of the center of their lives and learn to live and build relationships more intentionally. My family is living by almost all of the principles already, so I didn't find anything new, but I like his list of principles and I plan to copy them out and refer back to them from time to time in order to help us keep our priorities in the right place.
Ryan Hawkins
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A solid book about how families can navigate the modern digital waters. His emphasis is on character formation in the home in courage and wisdom. With this goal in place, he puts great and wise limits on technology, but also shows how they can be helpful.

This book also is in partnership with Barna, and so there’s a ton of helpful (and wonderfully designed) statistic pages throughout the book. Crouch uses these in his book every once and a while, but they’re mostly there to just see the
John Boyne
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: current-issues
An excellent book that provides simple, straightforward suggestions and practices to create a safe environment for our kids in this technological age. The book also provides a nice introduction to the wonderful research conducted by Barna, which I highly recommend as a resources into the state of Christianity and religion in the US today.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Some really great concepts to mull over. I don't agree with all (and if you're a techie you'll probably be annoyed at some bits) but I definitely appreciated the alternative look and thoughts about how tech has inundated our life. I'm guessing there are better books out there on this subject but this was a nice short look.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. This book could have just as well been titled “The Tech-Wise Life” or “How to be Wise and Courageous.” That is, Crouch centers on the family, but the book is about much more than family; it’s about cultivating virtue and habits around technology which might enable us to life wholesome, worshipful lives.
Kristy Hetzel
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I think I would read again in hard-copy. It was different from what I was expecting--more about the "better" you can have with technology in its place than a pile of rules about how to do that--yet thought-provoking and practical.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Practical and helpful resource on technology and its place in the family. With the growing number of devices in our family taking over our lives, this was a timely read! Crouch offers his principles/commandments to live by in each chapter that are realistic and insightful. I enjoyed the chapters on rhythms of work and rest as well how we should be on devices with a purpose and not just because are bored. Some things we were already doing as a family, but there were lots to still think about and ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

For twelve years Andy was an editor and producer at Christianity Today (CT), including serving as executive editor from 2012 to 2016. He joined the John Templeton Foundation in 2017 as senior strategist for communication. His work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,
“In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that the more you entertain children, the more bored they will get.” 3 likes
“The home is the place where worship of the true God starts: the place where we remember and recite God’s Word, and where we learn to respond to God with our heart, soul, strength, and—as Jesus added when he called this the greatest commandment—with our mind as well.” 2 likes
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