“We don’t need to live a life of 24/7 focus. We simply need to stop slouching into the easy posture of distraction. It might feel fine, but it’ll leave us sore.” ~ Amy Crouch
Have you ever looked at your phone’s screen time? It can be shocking to see how many hours we actually spend looking at our devices. What’s worse is the amount of time we spend scrolling when we have more pressing tasks to be done. If you’re anything like me, you try to be disciplined, but social media’s easy accessibility is too tempting when the day is going slowly. Thankfully, Apple has created app limits which have been a huge help to me, though it’s still too easy to click “ignore limit” for fifteen minutes… “Wait, I didn’t get to finish the video. What can fifteen more minutes hurt?”
Where are the boundaries when it comes to technology? How can we stop notifications from running our lives? What tools can we use to stay off our phones when we’re with friends or trying to rest?
You’ll find the answers to all of these questions and more in Amy Crouch’s debut book, My Tech-Wise Life. While the concept of living a tech-wise life might be a completely foreign concept to those being raised in the tech-centered world, it is not a difficult one to obtain. Having grown up with parents who put rules on all technology, Amy Crouch has learned to appreciate the world around her without needing to stop to take a dozen pictures to capture the moment. However, that doesn’t mean temptations and insecurities have not threatened to steal Amy’s peace and time. Like every teen, she has struggled to balance social media in a world full of comparison and followers. Highlighting key lessons that have had a huge impact on her life, Amy breaks down a few encouraging steps to get the most out of life without the constant nag of technology. Accompanying Amy, her father, Andy Crouch, shares his insight in a letter to his daughter at the end of each chapter, perfectly summarizing the content while bringing a parental look on the practices Amy encourages readers to try.
“Devices are captivating in a way the real world is not. And, consuming is captivating in a way creating is not.” ~ Amy Crouch
Though this book’s focus audience is teens, I think it will be a great source of encouragement to people of all ages — especially for families to read together — wanting to become more present with those around them rather than being distracted by the entertainment available at our fingertips. The world around us is so much greater than what our tiny screens have to offer, and the relationships we make in person are far more fulfilling than the ones formed through comments and likes on our social media posts.
“The cure for boredom is not distraction; it’s wonder.” ~ Amy Crouch
As someone who has relied on technology during years of isolation, I can totally understand the necessity of our devices. With the development of video chat and social media, I have had the incredible opportunity to meet people from all over the world and create friendships that have lasted more than a decade. Nevertheless, while technology has been an incredible tool in my life, it has also become a hard habit to break. Wherever I go, my phone needs to be with me; when I get tired or have to eat alone, Instagram is a comfort blanket to surround my time with noise and humor. Over the last year, I’ve noticed how reliable I am to my devices, and though they are still needed in most of my work-life, I am striving to break these patterns, and Amy’s book only inspired me to dig deeper to break these habits.
“Our devices don’t encourage one-time moderate distractions; rather, they encourage a posture of distraction.” ~ Amy Crouch
My Tech-Wise Life does not tell us to throw all our devices away and go completely off-grid; rather, Amy gives readers advice on how to stop allowing our days to be ruled by technology. A special moment does not always need to be photographed. Being with friends and giving them undivided attention is so much easier without the distraction of technology. We can get more work done in less time if we just stopped getting side-tracked by social media or YouTube! I commend Amy for being brave enough to share these truths, though they contradict what today’s society teaches the younger generation. I would also like to thank Andy for being a fatherly voice in this book, surrounding his words in love, and inspiring other parents not to allow technology to rule their family time.
Technology does not need to control our lives, but it takes discipline, strength, and self-control to break the habits so easily formed in a world where everything is computerized. If you’re struggling to focus on school or work, listening to your friends when you’re with them, or switching off your phones when taking a Sabbath rest, My Tech-Wise Life might be the best book for you!
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*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*