Main Point:Technology is supposed to make our lives better, but so many of us abuse it, allowing it to dominate our existence. We need to put tech in check.
The Discussion Starter: Autocorrect Humanity
This video clip is yet another great example of the power of Spoken Word, an art form that’s somewhere between poetry and rap. Autocorrect Humanity is the brainchild of Richard Williams, better known as Prince Ea, and focuses on the irony of that our society has moved past taking control of technology to the point that technology has taken control of us.
He claims that humanity needs to be corrected, but it cannot be autocorrected; we must take the initiative ourselves. He rhythmically describes what that life can look like, but warns that unless we take extreme measures, it will elude us.
Let’s take a look at his suggestion of putting tech in check.
The Video Clip:
The clip can be found online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRl8EIhrQjQ
This guy has a lot of talent when it comes to forming words into ideas. I really liked how he showed us how we’ve allowed technology to dominate our lives. Technology was supposed to be something that we controlled…but somehow, we’ve allowed it to control us. We spend so much of our lives looking at our smartphones, and instead of living life to the fullest, we miss living altogether, mainly because we’re too busy updating our status. The bottom line is simple: we need to put tech in check. It can’t control our lives any longer.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and what kind of cell phone we have.
- ASK A FEW: Could you relate to any of the complaints the guy in the video shared? If so, which ones?
- ASK A FEW: The guy in the video said we spend 4 years of our lives looking at our cell phones. Is that normal or too much? Explain.
- ASK A FEW: Do you think technology has brought us closer or driven us farther apart? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: He said we measure self-worth by the number of “likes” and “followers” we get. Do you think that’s true?
- ASK A FEW: What is the purpose of technology? Do we use it for its intended purpose or not?
- ASK A FEW: What does God think about how we use our technology, our cell phones in particular?
- ASK A FEW: Peter says that we are a slave to whatever masters us. Does this include our cell phones and other technology? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: It sounds like Peter is saying that our condition is worse than we realize because we know the truth and just don’t live it. Do you agree with the Bible’s message? Are we worse off than before? How do you know?
- ASK A FEW: Peter uses two graphic examples in this short passage: a dog going back to eat his own vomit and a pig going back to the mud after getting clean. Have you ever tried to set yourself free from the clutches of technology…only to return to it? If so, how does that make you feel?
- ASK A FEW: According to the guy in the video, your generation suffers from media overstimulation. What can be done to fix that?
- ASK A FEW: How would your life be better if you didn’t spend so much time on your smartphone?
- ASK A FEW: What are some ways YOU can put tech in check?
- ASK A FEW: In what ways will that be easy and in what ways will it be difficult?
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: What steps will you take right away and how can the rest of us help you?
Read the following passage:
2 Peter 2:19-22 (NIV)
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
Think back for a moment on the video we watched at the start of our time together. The guy in the clip was truly perplexed as to how we’d gotten ourselves into the mess we’re in when it comes to technology in general, and our smartphones in particular. Although he never said it, he probably thinks our smartphones are a lot smarter than us.
He accused all of us, himself included, in participating in “the pageantry of vanity” and claimed that we were running the risk of missing out on life by trying to keep up with “likes” and “posts” and “followers.” He said that social media was leading us to be anti-social.
And you know what, he was right about a lot of that.
In large part, we have become overly dependent on our technology. We have given ourselves over to it without much consideration. Like Peter said in the passage we read from the Bible, tech promises freedom, but it leads to our depravity. Some of us know it and have tried to break free from an addiction to “likes” and “updates” and “comments” but most of us have failed to do so. We are like the dog that returns to his vomit or the pig who returns to the mud.
At all costs, your generation has to put tech in check. You have to make sure that your life isn’t enslaved to anything, especially an inanimate object in your pocket. Yeah, I know that most of us keep our eyes locked on our phones because we don’t want to miss out, but the truth is, YOU ARE MISSING OUT…you’re missing out on life!
You know the relationship you have with your phone, or your laptop, or your tablet. You know if you’re really in control of it…or if it’s in control of you. If you are on the losing end and want to change that, I invite you to talk with one of our adult leaders before you leave. We can give you some tips on how to put the tech in check. We can encourage you to not be overly concerned with missing out on stuff online. Besides, who cares about one more stupid cat video when you’ve got a real life human standing in front of you. But most importantly, we can pray for you.
We want to help you put tech in check. We don’t want you to be enslaved. We want you to be free.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.