The evening begins with a video of yesterday's fun and games on Plish day - including a VERY funny section of black and white faux vintage film of a horse drawn carriage ride around Krakow. It is a warm hearted video and really fun to watch.
Andy Moore takes the stage to introduce the session.
Welcome to the second of our Word and World sessions - looking at Technology and Social Media. It is great to be here together - to meet together face to face, to pray together, to laugh and be together. There is something special about coming together in the same physical space. Andy gets us to talk together about how special it is to meet with one another.A video plays exploring the progression of media from print to the web.
We meet here representing a gathering of 500,000 students worldwide - this place is not big enough to contain the work of IFES. We are reaching a wider audience through social media. Tonight we will explore the challenges.
Now on stage Andy asks Ale, Febe, Paul and Chau Nog about their expeiences of using social media. I'm stood here looking like a fool.
|(c) Adam Jeske|
Febe - says that she is often criticised for using Facebook but she is engaging with her non-Christian friends. But it is unfair when people critique her without knowing what she is doing. There is an ethusiastic round of applause.
Chau Nog speaks about the challenges of her own context. Paul speaks about Uganda, internet use is ubiquitous.
The questions are now thrown toward me so I need to stop writing...
I sit down - nerves calming - but hoping that something that I've said has been helpful.
Anne-Marie Kool (Prof Of Missiology)
In the Hungarian model of intellectual engagement - quoting literature is important. But I have many questions in this area. I will speak of my experience - privacy is an issue and so I use it sparingly, I like the 'poke' function which I use to let people know that I'm praying for them, I find the 'like' and the 'friending' troublesome in the light of the biblical affirmation of relationships that build and strengthen one another, we are called to build authentic relationships - identity is not about what we do, or if people like us.
Social networks take a lot of our time - statistics speak of FB taking 55mins per day (2007). Maybe we need to refocus away from the the social media. We need to turn to find rest in Jesus - to find an engagement in Christ rather than a focus on ourselves. We ARE called to be in the world, to use social media, but not to be OF the world. Lord help us to use social media to the extension of your kingdom.
Technical history - the transistor was invented the year I was born. He makes jokes about his age - about BEING history, disarming and funny: and his warmth and wit are very winsome. David has spoken on Tech and media in various contexts - on being interviewed he spoke with a journalist who fiddled with tech, "I love my tech"
Warnings - social media is not universal, asking some questions, and pushing some perspectives.
Are you a gadget? "You have to be somebody before you can share yourself" Jaron Lanier.
Communication: between contact and content "Life in a media bubble now seems natural" Sherry Turkle - has moved from an optimistic to a pessimistic point of view. David tells, with good humour, about frustrations with a group of students who came for dinner and spent their time and attention on their devices. Why do people engage in gossip on line - is there contact rather than content: WHAT ARE WE SAYING
Communication: between connection and commitment. "By the mid-20th century, love with robots will be as normal as love with other humans" David Levy Surely this should read 21st century? A robot would be pretty good by many people's recognising - where are you is probably a better question these days than how are you? Film, The Social Network - Zuckerberg is presented as a nerd who does not 'get' relationships.
Visibility: between control and care. Privacy is an illusion - our data is being used by others, regardless of our privacy uses. On Facebook your friends betray you: categorising and sorting us into groups. Do we care for those we interact. How much to do take care of the people we are linked to. The process in which we search presents to us edited media and information.David's presentation is challenging and fast paced - this is much better than I had hoped! Loving this session. Lots to think through. He poses a question and asks: Is mere contact, connecting and control inevitable? The room is buzzing as the question is discussed.
The next question - will wifi be available in the New Jerusalem? We treat this as a special focus on attention: will tech get to heaven? Don't let yourselves be shaped by this present age - be transformed by the renewing of your minds (Romans 12:1)
By being discerning we can learn to be changed and transformed. The wealth and riches will be in heaven - an act of worship and love: so wifi may well be there but not necessarily as a positive thing.
Rediscovering face-to-face - human contact is important; when the face is present it is significant. How we can become focussed on the virtual rather than the actual. Idols bind themselves to us and we to them. They are empty - those who make them and those who trust them become like the idols they serve.
As Christians we are to seek the good of the other in our friendships, we are to be more concerned about how we engage in the world and how we engage impacts others. We are not gadgets we are humans made for relationship with God and one another. When we known by God then we may know who we are. We must ask the right questions - and make Jesus is Lord the default in our lives. Maybe we need to take a Sabbath from Technology. I have decided (and putting it here makes me accountable) in the process of preparing this session to turn my phone off on Sundays and during mealtimes. I will use my tech better in using it less.
We can shape social media rather than be shaped by it.
Andy takes to the chair for a panel.
I cannot blog and take questions at the same time, sorry
Nigel takes the stage and people start laughing before he speaks... other people would deliver this information with not a hint of a smile but Nigel has the room in laughter to the point where some cannot move.
It's been a struggle to liveblog and tweet and speak in this session - I hope this is a helpful record.