We certainly can’t ignore the fact that social and mobile media is popping up everywhere. We see smartphones as often as we do regular ones, our days are saturated with QR codes, website URL’s, facebook and twitter handles, and we’re constantly encouraged to check out the latest video, music, or news clip online. We are certainly gathering frustration as we see our youth garner and use mobile devices at times which may not be appropriate, as they sneak a peek from their pocket or handbag. But we also certainly can’t ignore the role that these things are playing in our culture. For this month, we’re going to look at a few games/activities that make use of this technology.
- Advertising: ALERT YOUTH a couple of weeks to a week ahead of time to bring in their digital music players OR a CD with one song that they really enjoy or that’s particularly meaningful to them.
- CD player and way to play the music (ipod docking station, stereo with audio input, etc…)
As youth come in, ask them to select the song they want to play, and then pause it. Have them mark their name on the devices or CD’s with a sticky note.
- For each of the songs, select three possible candidates for who might have brought the song (one of which is the actual person), play the song, and let the group decide who it might be.
- Announce who the person is, and ask them to share why the song is enjoyable/meaningful.
- Go through as many people as you have time for.
- NOTES: This activity has the potential to be a very positive OR very negative experience.
- When announcing that the participants bring songs, make sure to be as restrictive as you need to be, and ask them to not bring in songs with explicit lyrics, songs describing sexual positions, etc.
- You may need to recruit a couple of youth/adults who are familiar with music to look at the songs as they arrive to weed out the ones that may be explicit
- For youth who may have forgotten, stream songs from the internet for listening (extra supplies needed)
- This activity has the potential to be very meaningful as music is one way to get an insight into the personalities of your group. At the end of the activity, have a discussion about the power of music, and how it can affect/motivate/describe us
- Follow up with a devotion or study of the Psalms or other songs in Scripture
- After sharing their favorite songs, call for favorite Scriptures. Have a discussion on how recalling our favorite songs is easy while recalling Scripture might not be as much so.
- Instead of sharing in the large group format, break up into small groups, and have groups share songs that way. Have each participant keep their headphones, and plug in to each others devices the song.
- Instead of general song, have each participant bring their favorite funny song, spiritual song, etc.
- This might be a great activity for a road trip.
Seven Degrees of Social Media
- Make sure some of your participants have smartphones and a Facebook/Twitter/Google+/etc. account.
- Adult chaperones
- Pre-select a location to conduct the activity: Malls, parks, or other public places might be good starts.
- Upon arrival, break the group up into small groups, with at least one smartphone and one adult in each group.
Play: The group will have 15 30 minutes (you select the time frame) to play. The objective is to find connections between team members through other people.
- The small group will approach a person and begin to see how they might be connected to them, through friends and likes, then will link that person to another person back to another group member. EXAMPLE: Joe, a member of the group, likes a certain TV show on Facebook. He finds Tim, who also likes that show on Facebook. Tim also follows a certain baseball team on Twitter that Susan also follows. Susan is a Facebook friend of Bobby. Bobby is a Facebook friend of Jan, another member of the group. This group found a connection between its members by 4 degrees (Joe to Tim (through TV show) to Susan (through baseball team) to Jan (through Facebook friend)).
- At the end, the group will keep track of how many connections they found through how many degrees
- For every one degree connection, they get 3 points
- 2 degree connection = 4 points
- 3 degree = 5 points
- etc…. (a 20 degree connection = 22 points:
- NOTES: Remind participants to not be rude or overly aggressive with people. If they seem apprehensive or don’t want to participate, DO NOT force. Remind them that they are representing your group.
- Have at least two people in your group with smartphones, one with Facebook, and the other with Twitter/Google+/etc.
- Try this activity without mobile devices, having groups compile information on pen and paper.
- Have a discussion on differences and commonalities. Talk about how we all share the common trait of being Sinful and having a Savior.
EXTRA MOBILE/SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES:
- YouTube movie night (again monitor appropriate submissions)
- At next gathering, have youth bring in a playlist of 3 or 4 appropriate songs to play, and rotate through them as the activity goes on.
- QR Code Tag: Meet at a mall, break up into small groups with at least one participant with a smartphone with a QR Reader app on their phone. (A QR code is that small square that you see in ads that you can scan with a smartphone). Give groups 15-20 minutes to move about the mall, scanning as many codes as they can.
- Social media workshop: Have a night to discuss social media and plusses and minuses of using and sharing personal content.