Managing screen time (hello Siri!), tech devices (hello Alexa!), and technology overall (hello YouTube algorithms auto-feeding our children's minds!) has come to be a recurring area of desired improvement for parents. . . only to reach new levels since the pandemic turned real-life interaction into virtual interaction. It’s troubling to feel like technology is no longer supplementing our ways of life -- it’s substituting our ways of life.
"It’s troubling to feel like technology is no longer supplementing our ways of life -- it’s substituting our ways of life."
For a family who wants to balance the needs of schooling, socialization, engagement, and normal human interaction, what’s a parent to do? Andy Crouch has an excellent book from 2017 -- The Tech-Wise Family -- that could not be more relevant to 2021. It pairs perfectly and practically with Naomi Schaefer Riley's work in Be the Parent, Please by offering more tips on how to achieve tech-integration with moderation for you and your family:
“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.”
"Social media is in large part making us less social."