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Move Slow and Mend Things

Move Slow and Mend Things

If you spend enough time in the tech towers of Silicon Valley, you begin to develop a shorthand for start-up language. There’s a laissez-faire chatter around lobbies, a bit of recklessness on the tip of the tongue. In board rooms, a collective shrugging of the shoulders. Company-wide mottos like Google’s infamous “Don’t be evil” are scribbled on whiteboards to serve as an all-purpose, feel-good salve when things get hairy.

Even Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg himself still adheres to the slapdash strategy he employed when building Facebook from his college dorm room: “Move fast and break things.”

(He did indeed.)

Decades later, the research is clear: our culture’s obsession with social media is breaking our hearts and slowly eroding the very essence of our homes and families. So what do we do about it?

We start by acknowledging that the Move Fast and Break Things era is over. We, as parents and grandparents, have the power - and the responsibility - to build the safe, sustainable culture that Silicon Valley has continually failed to create. For our families, for our communities, and for our world.

How? For starters, we take Zuckerberg’s formula, and we do the opposite.

Move Slow and Mend Things

Whatever your family’s relationship to social media, I’m willing to bet you’ve grown a bit tech-weary over the years. As believers, we know our cries for restoration are heard by the God who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).”

And so, as we begin to establish more nourishing rhythms for our lives, may we seek the below mending principles with both patience and prayer.

Offer built-in alternatives to technology.

Begin creating a haven from a tech-heavy society within your four walls by offering an abundant array of built-in alternatives to technology. From record players to Polaroid cameras, newspapers and logbooks, screen-free swaps abound for nearly every tech solution Silicon Valley has sold us as “essential.” (A few personal favorites are here.)

Practice Sabbath rhythms and device-free restoration as a family.

Can you commit to two Sundays a month where nothing is scheduled, nothing is planned, and white space awaits? Can you choose an evening each week devoted to play, exploration, creativity? Is Saturday morning a good time for tree-climbing in the woods? Can you say no to unnecessary meetings? Can you keep extracurriculars to a 1:1:1 rule (one thing per season per child)? Take a look at the family calendar and get creative as you carve out time to seek God in the details of your lives together.

Teach the benefits of being different.

Review a few shared values with your household. Chances are, your principles won’t align with culture’s most popular stances. That’s ok! (Actually, that’s better than OK. In the words of my own pastor, if your family looks weird, you’re probably doing something right.) By proactively teaching your children or grandchildren the benefits of being different, you’re setting them up to question the status quo and go their own way- untethered and free from social media’s path.

Invite varied and diverse social circles.

Want to help your kids or grandkids and their friends form a vibrant, engaged social circle - totally free from devices? Give them a low-tech hangout. Better yet? Become one. Collect all personal devices in a fun, unique way: a retro toy dump truck, a busker’s open guitar case, a vintage cookie jar of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Or, keep it simple and have everyone kick off their shoes at the door and slip their phone inside one (Bonus: No footprints, digital or otherwise!).

Neutralize consumption with creation.

As we mend, let’s take a few from our Creator. Look around your home for simple ideas to engage your family in a creative project. A used ukulele. A working puzzle on the living room coffee table. Root beer float ingredients on the kitchen counter. An old digital camera. A broken toaster and a screwdriver. Sticks and strings. Binoculars and a backyard field guide. An old sweater and a pair of scissors. A deck of cards, shuffled and pre-dealt for a rousing game of Euchre. The possibilities, truly, are endless, and endlessly delightful.

Moving slow and mending things, as a philosophy, is symbiotic in a sense. To truly mend things, you must move slowly. But if you’re moving slowly - thoughtfully, with care - chances are, you’ll have less things to mend. As Ecclesiastes 7:8 advises, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

A far better motto than anything Silicon Valley could conjure, Amen?

For more practical tips, bold encouragement, and valuable resources designed to liberate our families from technology, grab your copy of The Opt-Out Family: How to Give Kids What Technology Can’t


Founder of global tech-free movement The Opt-Out Family, Erin Loechner is a former social media influencer who walked away from a million fans to live a low-tech lifestyle—and is now teaching others how to do the same. Her cutting-edge work has been praised in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Huffington Post, as well as on the Today Show. When she’s not scrawling on her trusty steno pad, Erin, her husband, and their three kids spend their days chasing alpenglow, reading Kipling, and biking to town for more tortillas.