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digital dialogue

Talking about . . . taking a digital dialogue

Digital_Detox_1.jpgWe are in an age of wonder and amazement with technology. It can go anywhere with us and we can be reachable at any time. We use technology to order our groceries, navigate our cities, keep up with breaking news, family members living away and in some cases remain connected to our politicians and faith-based communities. Some have even suggested that technology is controlling us we have lost control of it...like an addiction. Is technology our friend, the life saving tool of the 21st Century? Moreover, we are now always reachable and can respond immediately to that beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls. We are now accustomed to the reward that we feel when our phones ring or ping us with a new message and that makes us want more.  

For this Living Room Conversation, we are partnering with Reboot, the founders of the National Day of Unplugging (NDU). The National Day of Unplugging, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, March 3 to 4, 2017, is an ongoing effort to encourage people to take a digital break to reflect on their digital habits. To receive a free cell phone sleeping bag and take the pledge to unplug go to http://nationaldayofunplugging.com/

Click here if you would like a pdf of the following topic material to share with your cohost and friends.

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Background reading (optional)

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Want to listen to an actual Living Room Conversation?

We have many podcasts and videos of actual Living Room Conversations, on many topics.  Click here to listen or view.

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Now that you are all together, here we go!

This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.

Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.

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One. Why are we here?

What interested you or drew you to this topic?

Two. Your core values

Answer one or more of the following:
  • what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
  • what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
  • what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?

Three. Your thoughts and concerns around constant access to technology

Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals. 

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • Are there ways that technology has improved or hurt your in-person relationships and interactions?
  • Do you ever turn off your devices? Why or why not?
  • Do you want to change your own behavior around technology? How do you think you can do that?
  • What is the longest amount of time you’ve been unplugged (phone, online)? What happened?
  • Do you remember life before we had mobile phones/tablets or a time when you were unplugged for an extended period? What did you most enjoy?
  • How is our personal technology impacting our society?  

Four. Reflection

Answer one or more of the following questions:
  • in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
  • what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
  • has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?

Five. Accomplishment and moving forward

Answer both of the following questions:
  • name one important thing that was accomplished here;
  • is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?


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