Week 1

Virtual vs. Reality

Scripture: Romans 12: 1-2 (up to vs. 8)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Video

Please note that this video has one word that is considered inappropriate, but the content is critical.  Please also note that there is political dialogue in the conversation that is neither endorsed nor not endorsed.

Tech’s Immediate and Existential Threat to Humanity

Conversations

Utilizing the passage above, the video, and today’s sermon, consider the following questions:

  1. What psychological techniques have you seen used while viewing online content? (No stopping cues, video created to make someone appear in a video that was not them or was not their words, countdown clocks, the lag time of starting Facebook and the feed actually starting, autoplay, ads drawn from your shopping from another site).
  2. The speaker said that a good magician can fool anyone. Have you ever been fooled by a magician? What is the worst manipulation that you see on internet sites?
  3. Have you ever had an experience of a “How To” video eventually leading to something on the fringe through Youtube?
  4. Listen to a literal translation from the original Greek written by one of our pastors from Romans 12:2: “Don’t let yourself be drawn into the schematics of this culture, with its limited perspective of time, but be metamorphed by the renovation of your intellectual capacities.” How do we renew or metamorph our minds to avoid the schemes of this culture?
  5. Knowing that the same techniques used in slot machines are used in persuasive technologies, what should Christians do to change our culture.
  6. What techniques have you initiated to renew your mind, and to limit technology’s control? (stopping cues, time limits, deleting games, etc.)
  7. How could the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, scripture reading, and silence be substituted during times where we are vulnerable to the virtual reality cycle? (first in the morning, before going to bed, etc.) Do you purposefully substitute one of these during your day?