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Get Connected

Some of the challenges of social media

by Claire Law

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools

Aims

To explore the challenges that social media bring to our lives.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available the YouTube video 'Look Up' and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 4.58 minutes long.

       

Assembly

  1. What do you think a member of the Royal family first did 40 years ago?

    Listen to a range of responses.
  2. The answer is that, on 26 March 1976, the first Royal email was sent!
  3. I would like you to think about how the technology that allows us to stay connected has moved on since 1976.

     Who here owns a smartphone?

    Who uses Facebook? 

    Who uses Twitter?
  4. Technology has made it so much easier to keep in touch and connect with others than it was even just a few years ago. 

    You may wish to ask if there are any staff members who can remember a time before email and mobile phones or who had to ring their friends on a landline when they were teenagers, stretching the cable as far as possible to be out of earshot of their parents! 
  5. Why is it so important to stay connected?

    We are social beings, created to live in society. When God created Adam, described in the Bible in  Genesis (2.18, NIV), God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’. In the New Testament, Paul reminds us that we are not to live as individuals, separate from everyone else. We are part of a community or a body of people. In 1 Corinthians 12.27 (NIV), Paul says, ‘you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it.’ 
  6. There a danger that when we rely only on technology to help us connect, we find we don’t really connect at a deep level with anyone. 

    A 2013 study by the University of Michigan found that online social media, rather than making us feel connected, contributes to loneliness and reduces overall life satisfaction. The following video makes the same point - that relying too heavily on technology can undermine our connections with others.

    Show the YouTube video 'Look Up'.

     

Time for reflection

As we have seen, technology is great for helping us to connect online, but shouldn’t ever replace human contact, face-to-face conversations and actual eye contact. 

How would our world be different if we smiled today at others, greeted them making eye contact and having a friendly word or gave someone a real hug?
 
Who can you connect with face to face today?

Let us remind ourselves that we are part of a community, a society of fellow human beings.

You may wish to ask the students to offer the sign of peace to the people near to them.
 If necessary, explain that this involves a simple handshake and saying to each person, ‘Peace be with you.' 

Prayer
Dear Lord,
Thank you that you made us to connect with others. 
Thank you that you gave us the abilities to develop and find new technologies.
Help us to use technology wisely.
Help us to find ways to connect with others at a deep level today.
 
Help us to see how eye contact, our words and our presence can bring peace to others. 
Help us to also always stay connected to you. 
Amen.

Publication date: February 2016   (Vol.18 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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