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Chelmsford Diocese: Youth Workers


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A session with the diocesan youth workers to consider the digital and the questions that that raises for them in their work - giving young people the best choices, aiding their work, and protecting themselves and their charges.

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Chelmsford Diocese: Youth Workers

  1. 1. Working with young people in a digital age: opportunities & risks Dr Bex Lewis Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University Director, Digital Fingerprint Tweet @drbexl 106/06/17
  2. 2. Today 1) The Digital Environment 2) Knowing your values 3) Identifying vulnerable users 4) Building resilience 5) Using social media as a youth worker 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 2
  3. 3. Published by Lion Hudson February 2014 *Italian (Nov 2015) *Chinese (awaiting notification) Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  4. 4. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  5. 5. Understand! “If we want resilient kids we need to understand what young people’s experiences are online, listen to their concerns, and intervene with their best interests in mind.” Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director, MediaSmarts, Canada, January 2015 Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  6. 6. The Digital Environment 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 7
  7. 7. 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 8 Is it the end of the world as we know it?
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  9. 9. Tweet @drbexl 10 The-Night-Watch-The-real-story-behind-the-kids-on-phones-photo.html 06/06/17
  10. 10. Tweet @drbexl 1104/03/17
  11. 11. The Myth of the Digital Native Image Credit: Stockfresh Read more:
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  13. 13. Tweet @drbexl 14 04/03/17 social-networks-and-messaging-services/
  14. 14. Tweet @drbexl 1506/06/17
  15. 15. Tweet @drbexl 16 06/06/17 Images via
  16. 16. Tweet @drbexl 17 06/06/17 https://s-media-cache- 9221fd4c59c1e8.jpg
  17. 17. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl @vahva “.. People find it easy and more comfortable to ask questions about faith in a private space online… people on social media are directly contactable in a way that has not previously been so easy; paradoxically there is a distance offered by the online environment akin to the screen in the confessional box” (p18) 06/06/17
  18. 18. Pokemon? 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 19
  19. 19. Knowing Your Values 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 20
  20. 20. I’m a passionate believer that we need to be ‘incarnational’ in the digital spaces, whether those are specifically ‘Christian’ spaces or not, but that we need to understand how to be ‘resident’ in those spaces, rather than merely ‘visiting’ to do a ‘bit of reaching out’. Bex Lewis, May 2014 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 21
  21. 21. Tweet @drbexl 2204/03/17
  22. 22. Carl Medearis Relax, enjoy your friends. Enjoy their company along with the company of Jesus. Point him out, freely, without fear or intimidation. You’re not responsible to sell him to them. You’re simply saying what you’ve seen. You're not the judge. You’re the witness. 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 23
  23. 23. Social Media or Society? Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl “If we don’t like what social media is presenting us [with], we should look at society instead, not just the tool they communicate with.” Caroline Criado-Perez, 2013 Source:
  24. 24. A good [wo]man brings good things out of the good stored up in his/her heart, and an evil [wo]man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his/her heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45 (New International Version [edited]) 04/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 25
  25. 25. [If we are…] means by which God communicates and reveals himself through his Spirit, then our blog posts, status updates, tweets, artistic images, and online comments should be products of a life transformed by Christ and indwelled by his Spirit. As restored image bearers, our online presence and activity should image the Triune God. Byers, A. Theomedia (2013, 196) 04/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 26
  26. 26. 04/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 27
  27. 27. 24/7 Values? What do you stand FOR? • Authentic – be a consistent ‘you’ • Transparent – be honest, where’s the source? • Self-aware – note your ‘tone of voice’ • Integrity – own your own content • Self-control – be aware of consequences • Patience – hold the trigger finger before send • Non-manipulative – ‘love Jesus’ = send this! No! • Kindness – encourage others 04/03/17 Tweet @drbexl 28
  28. 28. Identifying Vulnerable Users 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 29
  29. 29. Vulnerable children and young people are not a self-contained or static group. Any child/young person may be vulnerable at some time depending on any one, or a combination of, the risks or challenging life events they face and their resilience (Cross et al, 2009, p.9) See also: and neglect/online-abuse/who-is-affected/ 06/06/17 Photo: Unsplash Tweet @drbexl 30
  30. 30. Who sees this? 1. God 2. Parents 3. ‘Kids’ 4. Newspaper 5. Enemy Image Credit: Stockfresh Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  31. 31. Stranger Danger 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 32
  32. 32. Addiction? 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 33
  33. 33. Sexualised Imagery 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 34
  34. 34. The Bullied The Bully The Bystander Image Source: Stockfresh See more: and content/uploads/2014/01/Safe_from_Bullying- Youth_Activities.pdf
  35. 35. Adoption & Fostering “Users need to be particularly careful about the information that is shared, whether by themselves, or by their friends, and all users need to look out for clever tricks, such as ‘viral’ missing person posts, whether for partners, or for children. Some are a hoax, others are for people in hiding or under police protection, and others are for children who have been adopted because of the risk of significant harm. If you are even thinking of sharing, check with police or Interpol records, but in any case, notify the police, so that they have the opportunity to offer safeguarding protection if required.” Chapman, K. (2015), ‘Be careful about “missing person” posts’, Google+. Retrieved from:, and Barefoot Social Work (2015), ‘The Dangers of Social Media for 'Missing' Children’. Retrieved from: dangers-of-social-media-for-missing-children Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl06/06/17
  36. 36. Developing Resilience 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 37
  37. 37. Responsibility? “Social media companies have a responsibility to protect people who use their technology, and we want to hear what more can be done to keep children and young people safe from online threats. This Government is determined to make Britain the safest country in the world for young people to be online, and to make sure that everyone – including the public sector, technology firms, parents and children themselves – is playing their part.” Karen Bradey MP, Government Internet Safety Strategy, April 2017
  38. 38. Increased time spent online will most likely increase exposure to negative experiences – but also the positive opportunities. Nancy Willard, a cyberbullying expert, calls for us to work on the “understanding that the vast majority of young people want to make good choices, do not want to be harmed, and do not want to see their friends or others harmed”. We can’t control their whole environment, online or offline, so parents need to give their children the capability to deal with problems as they come across them. Raising Children in a Digital Age, p.63 06/06/17
  39. 39. BBC: Be Smart “We’re doing this because all the research tells us that children and young people respond best to their peers. Whether they’re under pressure to take part in a dangerous prank, or to victimise someone, or whether they’re an online bully themselves, stories told by other young people are most likely to resonate and to help them cope, or change their behaviour.” Andrew Tomlinson, Executive Producer, Media Literacy, BBC Learning Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl 06/06/17
  40. 40. Sexting Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint advice/selfies-and-sexting/ #youthwork
  41. 41. DISCUSS THE ISSUES… 06/66/17 Tweet @drbexl 42
  42. 42. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  43. 43. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  44. 44. Tweet @drbexl 45 06/06/17 teenagers-mental-health-churchtimes/
  45. 45. Know when to… 06/06/17 Image sources: Stockfresh Tweet @drbexl 46
  46. 46. 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 47
  47. 47. Using social media as a youth leader 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 48
  48. 48. 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 49
  49. 49. 06/06/17 verkko-timonen-Using-Social-Media-in-Youth-Work.pdf Tweet @drbexl 50
  50. 50. Permissions/Consent • Parent’s permission before contact • Consent for use of photographs • Catchall statement for registration forms – assumes opt- in unless opt-out. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  51. 51. Language • Use clear, unambiguous language, avoiding abbreviations that can be mis-interpreted. • Take care with sign-offs Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  52. 52. Accountability • Leaders/Young People develop agreed ‘Internet Guidelines’ • Line manager // access to social media accounts • Second leader ‘in the room’ • Save messages/disclosures for use later if required. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  53. 53. Confidentiality • Be prepared for ‘deeper’ disclosures • Be clear on how much advice/source you can give. • Add a disclaimer on how you might need to share their information. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  54. 54. Boundaries • Work-specific device? • Don’t keep images of young people on personal devices • Define curfews Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  55. 55. What do others do? Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint awareness/communicating-responsibly-with-young-leaders-coaches-and-referees-u18.ashx
  56. 56. What do others do? Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint awareness/communicating-responsibly-with-young-leaders-coaches-and-referees-u18.ashx • protection/ • Guidelines-for-workers.pdf • • • godschildren.pdf • hurch%20and%20Circuit%20Photographics%20Policy%20final. pdf
  57. 57. HTTP://BIT.LY/CHELMS-YW Q&A 06/06/17 Tweet @drbexl 58