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How can digital and social media be used by youth leaders?


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Prepared for a Skype presentation, considering how digital and social media can be used by youth leaders (within churches).

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How can digital and social media be used by youth leaders?

  1. 1. How can digital and social media be used by youth leaders? Dr Bex Lewis, Director, Digital Fingerprint; Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, Manchester Metropolitan University DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl CC Licence 4.0 non-commercial
  2. 2. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  3. 3. Published by Lion Hudson February 2014 *Italian (Nov 2015) *Chinese (awaiting notification) Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  4. 4. 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 Image Credit: RGBStock Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  5. 5. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  6. 6. Is it the end of the world as we know it? Image Credit: Pixabay Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  7. 7.
  8. 8. DigitalFingerprint 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)
  9. 9. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl,-social-media-and-online-gaming.pdf
  10. 10. Pinterest
  11. 11. The Myth of the Digital Native Image Credit: Flickr Read more: myth-of-the-digital-native-sid2014
  12. 12. 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 DigitalFingerprint
  13. 13. Social Media or Society? DigitalFingerprint 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:
  14. 14. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  15. 15. Who sees this? 1. (God) 2. Parents 3. ‘Kids’ 4. Newspaper 5. Enemy Image Credit: Stockfresh DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  16. 16. 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: DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  17. 17. The Bullied The Bully The Bystander Image Source: Stockfresh See more: and content/uploads/2014/01/Safe_from_Bullying- Youth_Activities.pdf
  18. 18. 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 DigitalFingerprint
  19. 19. DigitalFingerprint Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl
  20. 20. Stranger Danger 2012/13 550 UK Abductions Less than 1/5: unknown “On average 11 children are killed by a stranger each year in the UK … there are more than 11 million children in the UK” (Netmums)
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. Language • Use clear, unambiguous language, avoiding abbreviations that can be mis-interpreted. • Take care with sign-offs Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. Boundaries •Work-specific device? •Don’t keep images of young people on personal devices •Define curfews Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  26. 26. What do others do? Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint awareness/communicating-responsibly-with-young-leaders-coaches-and-referees-u18.ashx
  27. 27. What do others do? Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint awareness/communicating-responsibly-with-young-leaders-coaches-and-referees-u18.ashx • child-protection/ • Media-Guidelines-for-workers.pdf • • • allgodschildren.pdf • Church%20and%20Circuit%20Photographics%20Policy%20fi nal.pdf
  28. 28. Other Topics? •Porn •Sexting •The Law •Health & Wellbeing •Critiqueing Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  29. 29. Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint
  30. 30. Looking to the future Image Credit: RGBStock
  31. 31. Slides: youth Book: Slides: Dr Bex Lewis @drbexl DigitalFingerprint