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Suggested length: 45 minutes
Technology is a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. We use technology to learn in classrooms, watch or make videos, buy things we want, figure out where we're going, keep up with breaking news, and connect with our friends, family, and others. We constantly experience the beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls, and we feel a sense of satisfaction or reward when our phones ring or ping us with a new message. Some people even describe feeling "addicted" to technology. In this conversation, you and other participants will explore questions around our increasingly digital society and how it is helping and / or hurting us. By practicing the conversation agreements and sticking to the three-round structure, you’ll learn more about how you and your peers think about the role of technology in our lives today.
Question Round 1: Get to know each other
Suggested length: 15 minutes
Get to know each other a bit by sharing something personal. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:
- How would you describe your town? (e.g. urban, rural, crowded, empty, big, small ...)
- How would you describe your school? (e.g. big, small, public, private, easy, fun, competitive, stressful ...)
- What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of school?
- What do you want to do after you graduate?
- How would your best friends describe you?
Question Round 2: Listen and share to understand
Suggested length: 20 minutes
Share your views -- and listen openly to others' views -- on the assigned topic, without debating or trying to change anyone's opinion. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:
- Does technology help your day-to-day relationships and interactions with others? How?
- Does technology hurt your day to day relationships and interactions with others? How?
- How do you think technology helps or hurts human interaction more generally?
- Do you ever intentionally turn off your devices? Why or why not?
- Do you think it is important to have regular and / or sustained "unplug" times? Why or why not?
- Do you want to change any of your own behavior around technology? What would you change?
Question Round 3: Reflect and share takeaways
Suggested length: 10 minutes
Reflect on -- and share with other participants -- how it felt to join a Mismatch conversation. Each participant should answer one or more of the following questions:
- In one sentence, share what was most valuable to you in this conversation.
- What new learning or appreciation do you have after joining this conversation?
- Have you found common ground or areas of interest that surprised you?
- What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here?
Before starting a conversation, all participants must agree to these conversation agreements.
1. Be Curious and Open to Learning.
Listen to and be open to hearing all points of view. Maintain an attitude of exploration and learning. Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking.
2. Look for Common Ground and Appreciate Differences.
In this conversation, we look for what we agree on and simply appreciate that we will disagree on some beliefs and opinions.
3. Be Purposeful and to the Point.
Notice if what you are conveying is or is not “on purpose” to the question at hand. Notice if you are making the same point more than once.
4. Show Respect and Suspend Judgment
Human beings tend to judge one another, do your best not to. Setting judgments aside will better enable you to learn from others and help them feel respected and appreciated.
5. Be Authentic and Welcome that from Others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak authentically from your personal and heartfelt experience. Be considerate to others who are doing the same.
6. Own and Guide the Conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation by noticing what’s happening and actively support getting yourself and others back “on purpose” when needed.