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This week, we are taking a look at a great little book by author Andy Crouch. The book is titled Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place. And many principles Crouch writes about strongly resonate with our Unruh mission and vision. Namely, the creation of beautiful, long-lasting furniture in an effort to cultivate moments and memories with friends and family. He claims that, in this process, you will grow as men and women of character, and your kids will benefit as a result. The book’s format addresses “10 Commandments” for you to put technology in its place and not the other way around. What direct link does technology have with furniture, you ask? More than one might think. In fact, Crouch uses one of the first commandments to explain how bookcases, tables and more can work to provide fun and stability within the home.
“The best way to choose character is to make it part of the furniture,” says Crouch, “Fill the center of your life together – the literal center, the heart of your home, the place where you spend the most time together – with the things that reward creativity, relationships, and engagement. Push technology and cheap thrills to the edges; move deeper and more lasting things to the core.”
Proper and Pragmatic
Crouch, according to the title, wants to put technology in its “proper” place. But how can we do that when technology is literally everywhere in modern society? It’s seemingly unavoidable. However, Crouch realizes technology isn’t all bad. He recognizes how technological advancement has brought distant families closer together (through Skype, FaceTime etc.) and how learning is made easier through search-engines and so on. Yet he also addresses the pitfalls throughout with statistics from Barna on how technology distracts and drives us apart.
Instead of an intense focus on how to rid ourselves of technology altogether, Crouch instead takes a proactive angle – one that provides practical options for growing as friends and family. We’ll follow this post with two more, later in the week, to give you some tips we learned after reading. As for now, let’s dive into a few Unruh products and how you, too, can move furniture to the center of your hearts and home. We promise the result is a closer family unit, and lessened weekly screen time.
To Bake Away Boredom
Our Bakers Field Table has a fun story behind the name. In short, we wanted to give a shoutout to DeDe Wilson’s Baker’s Field Guide to Christmas Cookies. (Another book we wholly endorse!). But baking isn’t just for the holidays, right? We hope not! Luckily, shows like The Greatest British Bake-Off has boosted baking in popularity, and we’re not mad about it.
Utilize a Bakers Field Table in your home for gatherings, and win back the family table. Create dinner for friends and host a bi-weekly meal. Order a baking cookbook and work through recipes this year with your kids and/or grandkids. Try and spend at least one meal per day – breakfast or dinner – as a family. And when you do, place all phones on DO NOT DISTURB mode. Resist temptation to take pictures or video. It’s OK to say “this memory is just for us.”
Build a Bookcase → Bond with Family
Our promise, and lifetime guarantee, is bound in that first action. The second part of the equation is on you! And that’s what this blog is for: to encourage you and all the usage your new furniture will bring you in the future. From our selection of bookcases, it’s pretty hard to choose just one. But let’s start with the Holder Bookcase.
Available in six different types of hardwood, we encourage you to toy around with the Holder’s size on our online customization tool. Depending on how many activities you want to store within its shelves, you might need to go big! According to Crouch, an item like this bookcase, at the center of the home, can lead to a bevy of options to eliminate boredom in the home. Where does boredom lead? Unfortunately, boredom these days leads straight to a screen – one of technology’s pitfalls.
“So here is a simple test of whether your home is a tech-wise space: find the place that is its emotional center – the place where your family spends the most time and the most energy – and take an inventory of what you see there.”
Take Crouch’s words as a little homework for this evening. Write down what you see on paper or in a journal. And then brainstorm about what the space is missing. Like he said before, “The best way to choose character is to make it part of the furniture.“ After you choose the appropriate furniture, the only thing left is to fill the furniture with items that are good and promote community. We’ve discussed awesome board games and discussion starters as a way to begin, but there are hundreds of more ideas. How does your family promote Crouch’s tech-wise mentality? We’d love to hear how your family takes hold of technology, and pursues character as a result.