How’s your phone usage going? You’re likely response? “Eh, not great!” I think we all know that we can do much better when it comes to how much time we spend on our phones. How many hours have we wasted? How many conversations have we missed? What beauty have we ignored? The truth is, our phones have crept their way into all areas of our life. They’re impacting our marriages, our friendships, our families, our productivity, and our restfulness. But we can do better. We can choose to put the phone away.
It will change our marriage.
It will change us.
We don’t have to be slaves to this device.
Here at Big Spring Farm, we’ve all been thinking a lot lately about how we use our phones, tablets, and televisions, not only in our lives but in our marriages too. I think it has a lot to do with having a family. For me, (Mary Margaret here!) the topic has been at the forefront of my mind more since having my daughter in 2016. And honestly, technology was the source of a lot of fear and uncertainty for me. As a former middle school teacher, I’ve seen the effects, positive and negative, of technology first hand. I don’t like what I’ve seen in my own life and I want to fix it for not only me, but my husband and daughter as well. This meant that when I learned of a new book The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, by Andy Crouch, I immediately got my hands on it and started reading it. I quickly handed it over to Buddy and Jill. They’re reading the book now and it’s safe to say, it’s a Big Spring Farm favorite!
Tech-wise focuses on putting technology in its proper place, within your family. However, you don’t have to have children of your own to reap the benefits of this book. With our daughter being so young, we’ve found that these principles have really impacted our personal relationships with our phones, our relationship with each other, and sets the groundwork for how we will raise our daughter in the world of technology.
Tech-Wise it’s about more than boundaries and parental controls for your children. It details a way of life. The book outlines 10 commitments for a tech-wise family and each chapter walks you through each one. The author, Andy Crouch, is full of grace. He makes it clear that he and his family do not live out these commitments perfectly all the time. Crouch ends each chapter with a “Reality Check” where he explains how his family has succeeded in this commitment and how they’ve fallen short of the ideal, which is so encouraging. There is no shame in slipping up or making adjustments based on who you are as a unique family unit. The author invites you to strive for counter-cultural living, without writing off technology altogether but rather using technology for a purpose.
Each section is sprinkled with valuable and accessible research. He doesn’t overwhelm you with statistical language that you can’t understand but instead makes the information accessible with infographics, pie charts, and bar graphs. And, this information is so insightful!
10 COMMITMENTS FOR A TECH-WISE FAMILY
- We develop wisdom and courage together as a family
- We want to create more than we consume. So we fill the center of our home with things that reward skill and active engagement.
- We are designed for a rhythm of work and rest. So one hour a day, one day a week, and one week a year, we turn off our devices and worship, feast, play, and rest together.
- We wake up before our devices do, and they “go to bed” before we do.
- We aim for “no screens before double digits” at school and at home.
- We use screens for a purpose, we use them together, rather than using them aimlessly and alone.
- Car time is conversation time.
- Spouses have one another’s passwords, and parents have total access to children’s devices.
- We learned to sing together, rather than letting recorded and amplified music take over our lives and worship.
- We show up in person for the big events of life. We learn how to be human by being fully present at our moments of greatest vulnerability. We hope to die in one another’s arms.
These commitments alone will change your marriage, your relationships with kids, your life. There’s absolutely no doubt about it.
A FEW THINGS WE’VE NOTICED IN OUR OWN LIVES…
- More focused on what we’re doing in a given moment like talking to our spouse
- Less wasted time- more productivity at home and at work.
- Deeper conversations
- More books read!
- Restful spirit, which helps us care for others (you know, our spouses)
- Deeper and more frequent prayer
- Better sleep
- Doing things together more- walks, games, cooking, etc.
- Increased creativity
Let’s make a change. Let’s do one thing this week to break free form our devices and find more freedom in our marriage! Look over the actions items, choose one, to do this week.
- Order the book
- Put your phone away for one hour a day.
- Try phone free car time with your spouse.
Will you try it with us!? Let us know in the comments. Which will you do this week?