Social Media – all about RELATIONSHIPS, so we are going to start by getting to know each other as if we are on Twitter (look at all 4-5 areas of the document)
It IS the reality – any time that we hark back to days when we all ‘sorted it out’ over a cup of tea… we are now in a global, fast-moving world, and if we want to participate in that conversation – we need to know how to…
We need to understand “the culture” that we are engaging with…
Qualman – 4 mins (business focused, but worth thinking about…)
… it’s the world of the ‘long-tail’ – don’t compete online to be known as ‘church’, but to be a particular aspect of church – good to find people to connect with…http://www.empowernetwork.com/rlane/files/2013/04/long-tail-keywords.jpg
.. And example of how this has helped many people is this website (also on Twitter, etc.) and how they have got these people together… something many people don’t want to talk about… but these people do –it’s healing
Can we intro with ‘2 kinds of being present’ … present in a broadcast sense, and engaging in a ‘being’ sense?
Online/offline = REAL – not the same, but real! In the same way as you may emphasize different parts of your personality with different people – with your parents, your friends, your kids… online you may emphasise different aspects of your personality in different spaces… but at the centre of it all you are YOU! AUTHENTICITY.
Always remember that there is a human being at the other end of the keyboard - each uniquely created by God…
The danger of the ‘God Slot’ … we’ve done our bit of mission for today … and there we are – done?The first, according to marketing experts is a ‘success’… why I don’t like them .. And why I like the second one – real relationship building an a chuckle..
In all of this we are thinking “who is our neighbour” – within the church community we seem to particularly “value” f2f contact (a lot is down to the incarnation of Jesus), but this notion needs a lot more thought – we now have global neighbours! DISCUSS
Sold 1200 copies in first couple of weeks, good reviews, etc. Director, Digital Fingerprint
10 minutes… then give overview of key thoughts in the book…
Note – not first time in the press – note the importance of power relationships online/offline…
… I spend most of my time developing The Big Bible project – initially developed around ‘The Big Read 2011’, with Tom Wright’s Lent for Everyone: Matthew – with a brief to ‘do something digital’. The church seemed to need encouragement to ‘be digital’, and there didn’t seem to be much positive content online, so we started to encourage more people to blog online about their faith, etc…
In the introduction… Headlines = full of disaster, children are addicted to screens, being abducted via Facebook, giving away all their information, sexting, running up bills, becoming couch potatoes, watching porn, meeting strangers and bullying and trolling at every opportunity. I exaggerate, but then so does the news – which (by its nature) is focused on the new/the unusual and has left many people with a feeling that there’s very little that they can do … Set off to look into the research that’s already out there, and 120
Every new technology = moral panics (my experience with TV aged 17 … looked like I was addicted!) … and each seems to be the end of ‘the way we used to do things’ (invented tradition)…. A part of ‘technological determinism’.. Dan Gardner ‘Risk’ – we’re the healthiest, wealthiest, safest generation in history, but the most terrified… example post 9/11 flights/road accidents… but not ‘newsworthy’ in the same way. Families have also changed – children have more role in ‘decision making’, the types of families we have have changed and come in many more shapes…
We need to think of activities that will encourage children to think about e.g.1) The permanency of online information (although you can ‘game’ it somewhere) 2) Constant change – printed = done; online – can change – can be difficult to distinguish between originals/replicas3) The community will choose to amplify certain types of information – which may not be what was originally chosen. 4) Anyone can be found/identified (for good or bad)This section from a book just released ‘The Parent App’ is interesting … as one might expect - bad things happen online because they can happen anywhere (the technology is incidental)… but also many of the kind of stats that are highlighted demonstrate that society is safer for children than it ever has been… and that each new risk tends to be accompanied by a new way to counteract that risk – we just need to identify those (e.g. bullied can keep record of texts, ring parents for help, etc.) She notes that technology may have introduced new risks – but also new ways of negating those risks… e.g. educate children to check in with parents on mobiles, etc. if they are worried about someone, etc…
Think, e.g. – when paper was introduced – seen as disruptive (people can doodle whilst you’re talking), as mobile phones have, but it’s the person using it, not the technology that dictates how it’s used. Think – we can be more flexible in our plans, but if our battery runs out – what then…
Professor Tanya Byron, author of the Byron Report (2008), said: “I found the more that I understood what [my children] were experiencing, the more I felt empowered to support them to [go online] responsibly and safely, and the more freedom I felt comfortable for them to have”.Best way to engage with children = to have a better knowledge of the threats that they are facing – and don’t forget the possibilities … the technology = much wider/faster connections (all has up/downsides). Digital Revolution affected all our lives whether choose to participate or not.. Huge huge huge numbers onlineSo, what are the particular characteristics of digital culture? Digital material is both more ephemeral and more permanent than previous communication methods. It can be difficult to remove and it is easy to change, replicate, and share, which makes it difficult to distinguish between originals and their replicas. What the community chooses to highlight may not be what the author intended, and material can be disseminated fast, but this also means that a response can be made more quickly. Users can have a sense of being invisible, which can lead to irresponsible behaviour, but can also provide the anonymity necessary to encourage someone to engage with online support sites. We should remember, however, that, with a little work, anyone can be found and identified. In digital culture people tend to engage with increasing numbers of “friends”: it can be harder to detect possible risk, but those with “unique interests” can find friends more easily online.Need to be digitally literate, and not see tech as ‘the bad guy’ (like a brick – through window or build house) – lots of easier ways to stay in touch, and great opportunities for those with special needs...; Talking online/offline rather than virtual/real…
What keywords are people going to be searching for you for … make a list…doesn’t have to be definitive – keep working on it… note ‘the long tail’…
Now, these may surprise you, as you may expect that I come in, tools first, and say “let’s do it all digitally”, but as it has been for many years, and will be for many more – we should start with the PROBLEM(S) that need solving, and then look at how the digital fits into the mix.
Problems – are there any have an idea of where the digital might help? Then feed back in – will we have a flipboard … let’s hold onto some of those, and start to think about what digital tools might help solve them…
Like electricity – don’t need to know inside/out to use it … same with technology these days.. But giving an insight into the current top tools (though this will date the book quickly, no way round it really)… and actually many of the top tools – e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,etc have been fairly stable for several years now – definitely not moving as fast as it used to – so many platforms bought by each other, etc… Advice particularly focused on how to take control of your information (are a great many ways you can).
Bex to introduce (note that we spend a lot of time online, and we don’t use them all, all about finding the right tool for the job).
Bex to introduce – simply that different tools work for different functions – this is a bit of fun, but actually quite helpful. Solid platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. but also note growth of person-to-person platforms, e.g. Snapchat and WhatsApp
… want to find the right tool for the right job?.. If you want to know more – download this 6-7 page document I try to keep updated.. , and you’ll see different tools are use for different things!
Within a church can look something like this – can see am interacting, sharing pics (could have done a video), using a hashtag, etc. This is a NATURAL way for me to engage as I love Twitter/can use it fast… RT, MT, HT.. Trending, Hashtags…
And know that for each tool you can develop a ‘daily workout’ – this anticipated to take around 20 minutes a day… worth the investment – really has to look active to generate interest!
Great tool (others might use Tweetdeck) – allows you to preset tweets, across accounts – free up to 5 accounts!
Check understand difference – profile, page, group, event … what might pastoral care look like? Can also be done on Twitter Direct Messages… Can deal with more people in a quicker time, but don’t forget to be aware of when f2f is required… Who’s going to look after it?Where is the list of people to be referred to if the situation gets sticky, etc…
Wanted to share a couple of stories provided by “what we call” #DigiDisciple(s) – disciples particularly interested in discipleship in the digital age. Muriel wrote about a friend who developed true relationships with other mums who attended an event at church – future events can then be advertised on Facebook. She then set up a cyber-church group on Facebook – allowing questions to be asked. The events have continued to grow/church has more regular members … encouraging use of social media.
How this can help – particularly the free version…
Ask people to suggest useful ways they have seen – share with each other..
Yes, children spending more time on technology – become cheaper/more accessible – but that doesn’t mean that they ‘misbehave more’ – there are new ways to do things… The ‘myth’ of the digital native .. They are not so very different – still human beings – are not beyond our reach, just need some time to understand. How can make more positive choices, and see what changes in the teenage years (13+ when children legally online, etc.) – habit forming age, technology not seen as ‘technology’ – it just is.. Advertising, consumerism, the digital divide – where do kids turn to for advice (their friends) – start to think how to make yourself more of a confidante.
E.g. Jake – see how his life is built around the relationships with friends – something that James Poulter describes as the ‘Recommendation Economy’ – we trust others more than marketers these days – so how do we ensure that there’s some good content for people to chew on….
Talking to children about technology – many parents as nervous as talking about sex, but this is the most powerful tool/technique available… Ensure each negative statement about tech, etc. accompanied by positive where possible so doesn’t look like dismissing out of hand.. Chelsea Clinton did this re other forms of media whilst she was growing up. Internet Safety Agreement – work with kids to define one that works for your own family…
Martha Payne (NeverSeconds) – her Dad still checks everything she receives first… (age 9) – a brief overview of the changing capabilities of children – essentially younger = ‘walled garden’, older = deeper insights. Facebook = 13, many parents think 11 or think is up to them… Facebook influenced much – Zuckerberg believed privacy = dead, but children actually seem to be pretty intelligent about this – and if they aren’t – warning is not to go mad at them, but help them improve the situation.. The pros & cons of monitoring and filtering – can’t really just rely on the technology to stop things appearing in front of your children – none of the systems = as sophisticated as human beings.. Location services/managing digital footprint…
Turkle = photoshopped selves = danger that we’re only projecting a particular image of ourselves – I would say yes, but think do in all situations, and we need to raise awareness that people are not sharing everything of themselves online (nor do they in any situation) .. These were ideas from early days of the internet, but filtered into our everyday thinking… Children need role models – if parents have mobiles attached to them, then have no leg to stand on when try to remonstrate with children. Disinhibition/Anonymity
If you’re going to have a policy, have something like this – v. simple. Example with Damaris… What would YOUR 10 commandments look like?
What values might that mean we hold to? DISCUSS
Stand for, rather than against. If can agree this – removes the pressure from any one person - discuss
… what do the fruits of the spirit look like online – what does it mean to be patient & self-control … do we need to hold back from posting that thought at the moment we think it? EXERCISE
If we understand what ‘works’ – we can connect with people - We don’t PUSH the message at people – we seek to be intriguing and draw them in… we have a powerful message – can we find ways to share it positively?
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was God…” He wants to communicate with us (2-way)…what do Jesus’ teaching then mean for our lives today? If we are made in God’s image, and God is a communicating God, what responsibilities does that place upon us in our public digital lives? Image taken from Durham University website.
Building relationships takes time, but church has never been about “bums on seats”, so much as about encouraging those who attend to live full lives of discipleship. Many of those who enjoy the digital spaces are skeptical about being ‘preached to’. We live in a world of “pull” rather than “push” media (show me why I will be interested, rather than tell me I should be interested), but as Elizabeth Drescher says:We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love (Drescher, 127).
Ensure that what we’re thinking about is not just about individual ‘brownie points’ but bigger/community pictures…
Remember that anything that you write online – even in private messages, etc. are easy to copy & paste – and out of your control onve you write them down… quite a good benchmark is thinking of these people who might read it … it may place limitations on what you write – being open and authentic does not mean shove it all out without filters!!
.. In particular what does it mean to share with ‘grace’ … we want to be invited to share, but we also want to ensure that we respond to things ‘gracefully’ – this doesn’t mean like a doormat but not flinging around some of the insults that I can see from people online at different ends of Biblical interpretation… DISCUSS GRACE-FULL CONVERSATION – being a good ‘witness’ online…
You may still post, but at least you will post with awareness that you may attract kickback, etc..
Invite responses about which platforms they are using.. . How much it feels like display, what they think about before they place material online?Emphasise don’t want bland Bible bots (2nd session), but give some thought to what message are presenting – doesn’t matter what you’re doing, the label of Christian is still attached – what does this mean?
DISCUSS - We may be the only Bible that some people ever see … What do your priorities appear to be? Does God seem to have a place in your life? Demonstrate life as it is, rather than how you wish it would be… Relentlessly positive? How do we also share some of the difficulties of life – be real, allow people to connect with us [some of best sermons I’ve ever heard are people telling me are how they’ve dealt with difficult times… demonstrated that they are still pursuing the answers… ]… sentences end in a question rather than in a full stop?http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/2dQMJYj/We+Are+Not+Alone
If I share something on my own page – far more likely to pick up comments than if it’s on BB’s page…
Lifestyle = includes online!
I think this is the thought that I want to leave you with.. (if time, ask if any other verses spring to mind for similar adaptation.. )
The word ‘friendship’ has changed as we now ‘friend’ others on Facebook – children can’t afford to not accept friend requests from those they interact with in the physical space (e.g. school) as has repercussions for offline life… (and most are offline connections) Huge amount of online etiquette – including who connect with, speed of response, what you like, etc.. Facebook depression (more/less socially active) Cyberbullying – huge issue – speed, constantly, digital pile-on are core – the 3 roles – bullied, bully, bystander.. (Nancy Willard – is not something kids HAVE to live through…) ‘Stranger Danger’ (incredibly rare) – and as parents increasingly make friends online, again, seems ironic to say to kids ‘don’t’, rather than helping them do so safely..
http://www.sxc.hu/photo/150108Often – what we hear about is cyber-bullying… appears to be all pervasive – beyond our control, etc.. (plenty of books being published JUST on this topic, and papers full of negative stories…) It’s Terrorising, huh? Range of approaches – the red tops clearly the most hysterical … ban this website … but isn’t this just going to pop up elsewhere…? Is it not about our culture, rather than the technology … which yes, allows us to do new things or in a new way, but it doesn’t have to control our behavior… So do we just ring our hands, feel hopeless, say it’s all bad, give up on the technology or do our voices need to raised (together) to make a difference …Want to look at this in terms of ‘The Bullied, The Bully, The Bystander’
Don’t want to use term victim, as are not powerless…. But this is the group that we are most concerned about as every individual case is a tragedy … but is it as bad as we fear?
ASK: Anybody any ideas what these numbers reflect? Research = those affected from 5.5% to 71% (obviously press = worst figures), but these figures can cause their own problems. Nancy Willard = makes people think that it’s a ‘rite of passage’ – put up with it // not really causing harm… = means more get involved – whereas if we can show that most behave positively online, inspired to copy that instead…Policies by government, schools and parents are also dictated by a belief in the height of stats … the higher the stats – the more likely we are to limit access, want more surveillance – and call for bans on technology!
Cyber-bullying can come in various guises… e.g. receiving hurtful messages, being the subject of hurtful messages, stolen phones used to damage other relations, reputational damage, isolation..
We may be familiar with the signs of bullying (Unexplained headaches, Nausea,Bedwetting , Mood swings,Aggression,Night terrors,Fall behind on school-work,Avoid going to school or leaving the house,Become anti-social) and these may be present … though could also be signs of being teenage .. But particular to cyber-bullying …
Previously, bullying would typically stop at the school gates, or at least once the child got home, although there was always the potential for phone calls, notes falling out of homework books, bricks through the window, or events replaying themselves in the head. Others pile in and the information – 1/0 never forget – can resurface at any time…
Note that may be worth taking time away from online for a while to take a breath and think about how you are going to deal with things when you go back online … come back to some of that with bystanders in a minute…
Be aware a persistent bully may have multiple IDs so need to keep vigilant…If decide to talk to parent, write down facts/keep calm … people are always going to protect their own and may find it hard to believe that their child is a bully… or don’t want to! Remove info = legal obligation to do so, but can take time… esp e.g. YouTube where multiple copies can be made … best to think BEFORE posting (unlike post first, ask forgiveness later)
Kids = strong resiliency… 2 often particualrly successful…
So, let’s have a brief look at who/why bullies partake…
Feels disconnected from impact of bullying (like WW2 bombers), and can find ways to justify it, often dehumanising the victim … it’s that danger of seeing the screen rather than the person behind the screen!
The stats seem to support that (though we don’t know enough this report)… Online = human nature amplified… ‘Web trolls preying on children’, ITV, http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-02-22/youth-charity-launches-campaign-against-internet-trolling-lauren-goodger-caroline-flack-vinspired, 22/02/13
Need help not banishment.Need to learn from their mistakes.If feel abandoned will seek others who will support how they feel. Shaheen, S. & Churchill, A.H., Truths and Myths of Cyber-bullying: International Perspectives on Stakeholder Responsibility and Children’s Safety, Peter Lang Publishing, 2009, p7
For many, it won’t be as simple as this. Your child won’t necessarily want to sit and listen, and may be actively looking for opportunities to bully once more, waiting until late at night to access the Internet, shutting down their devices as soon as their parents enter. This may be good time to monitor what your children are doing online, and restrict their access to technology…
If we refuse to engage – what is that doing .. Can be scary, but this phrase is powerful..
Things move fast, so others can pile in – but can also use this to your advantage to get other friends, etc. to support you as well…
… to bring it back to Biblical thinking … am I misusing this Bible verse, but it seems worth holding onto – the same as in offline life … think about what we are doing online!
A final encouraging thought to leave with…
Mobile = cheaper, more accessible, appropriate contracts – so now the tool of choice for many – including kids. FOMO/need to respond = little digifree time – is the mobile becoming an intruder on other situations – many have set rules re e.g. mealtimes, etc. Worries about e-babysitter – though “OK” for educational purposes.. Work with them as they download apps (and ensure password on – throughout = are simple things that can be done…) Ensuring mobile phone costs are managed, and what age (secondary school for most, smartphone GCSE..) Worries about shortform text = damaging use of English = more creative…
3.5 minutes .. Increasingly mobile-ness Who has a mobile?
Again = humanbehaviour exaggerated = more vulnerable offline, also online…Issues of the dangers of porn = complex, but tend to be condensed in the press… for years children have gone through ‘rite of passage’ – but now = easier to get hold of, more explicit, etc.. And changing expectations of what is normal sexual behaviour. Boys, unsurprisingly, more likely to seek it out (and is a danger as looking for those their age, are going to get in trouble for accessing those underage). Numbers of paedophiles difficult to determine as tend not to self-declare, and most stats comes from e.g. filtering companies… there is a danger, but more from those who are known – so good to be aware – and remember the technology can help you FIND children too…Sexting = age old pressure ‘if you don’t going to ditch you’ … so children need same advice to take care what share/when – as once out there – can spread fast…
Seen as Wild West, but it’s not – laws still apply (usually the originating country) Plagiarism, music, film, apps… dangers of viruses with illegal info…
Be aware, here make a reference to copyright – cannot just download images from the internet, without referencing…
Need to set up desk properly … more worrying = pro-mia sites, etc. advice on how to eat even less, etc. Brain changing – everything you do affects brain change = not necessarily bad… Addiction – is it really addiction? Is it affecting schoolwork, attention spans? Can people really multitask? Are these things all bad or are we just holding onto things that we treasure? Conversational ability (more social) and danger of couch potatoes – use whatever interest online and take it offline…
Standard advice = keep computer in a central room in the house – especially once teenage years = not really possible… Am AssocPead = consistently says 2 hours of screentime max … Bedroom culture; digital time out; reading online (is it about the book content or the book format?)
Gaming – not so much my thing, but increasing complexity of games online – without an end point, and rewards for the more time spent online/just one more level… Some argue has increased dexterity, sociability, esp for autistic kids…Are worries is violent, addictive and expensive… similar fears about horror films, most of which disproved by media ‘experts’.
Technology = prepares kids for the job market, OK to lurk & learn.Need for criticality (not always seen amongst early students) – need to be aware to avoid scams/Snopes, etc.CollaborationSocial Justice (clicktivism/activism)
I asked my questionnaire respondents what they thought were the benefits of the digital world, and their answers included: access to wide range of information (especially if not blocked by a filter), increased connection with family/friends regardless of distance, huge educational benefits for their future, giving children an opportunity to engage with the world as it is now, opportunities to demonstrate - and be involved in - collaboration, a positive impact on social life, the opportunity to make more flexible plans, tools to keep them occupied, a chance to enjoy spending time together on devices – or to learn from their children, the global nature of the online spaces, fun and entertainment, learning from games, improved hand-eye co-ordination, the speed of communication, new opportunities for creativity, learning to be critical, enhanced personal safety, increased accessibility for those with disabilities, and prospects for increased creativity.
I spotted this on Facebook as I was coming to the end of writing this book. It was posted by Will Taylor (communications manager, youth worker, and dad), and seems to sum up what is required of parents in the digital sphere: Do it for themDo it with themWatch while they do itLet them do it for themselves.
Parents increasingly taking responsibility for grandkids – need to be consistent – greatest growth = accessing picsTeachers = particular concerns – much of it defensive, but how can encourage children to engage whilst protecting selfYouth leaders = need for good boundaries, etc.
e.g. LOL = double meaningsAvoid e.g. “luv” or “xxx”.
ConfidentialityIn digital communications with youth/children, be aware that they may be prepared to disclose more than they would face-to-face. Ensure that those in your groups understand that you are not qualified to provide counselling (unless you are!), but can give general advice within a personal capacity. Consider adding a disclaimer such as this as to what you may do with their information: If there is a concern, e.g. that the sender or someone else, particularly a child, may be at risk of serious harm, we may need to share those concerns. In such circumstances we would inform the sender giving details of who would be contacted and what information would be given.
More accountability, protect personal lives… Note that Facebook terms and conditions do not allow users to have more than one profile.
Only constancy is change … cannot make Internet 100% safe so need to give children confidence/skills – by giving them opportunities to engage online… (swimming pool analogy)
… and don’t forget the cat…
Final word – remember – there is always a human being at the other end of the keyboard… think before you type…Questions?
Working with Children in a Digital Age
A Digital Age: Working
Dr Bex Lewis, Director, Digital Fingerprint;
CODEC, St John’s College, Durham University
CC Licence 4.0 non-commercial
Who is my neighbour?
• What does it mean to ‘love your
neighbour’ in a world in which a
‘friend’ might as easily be the kid
from down the street you grew up
with as a woman in Botswana
whom you’ve never seen in person
and only know in the context of
Facebook status updates, photos,
• Tweet if You Heart Jesus, p.xiv
All technologies offer
CONSTRAINTS and change
• What has been made possible with the introduction of
each new form of technology?
• What activities have been limited with each new form
• How have our social practices/habits, etc. changed
with each new form of technology?
Digital Culture: Why it
matters that we join in
Image Credit: Stockfresh
Social Media: More than
the cherry on the cake!
Image Credit: Purchased Stockfresh
• Twitter brings you closer
to the things you are
passionate about - and for
millions of people across
the globe that is faith.
What’s it good for?
• New connections through shared interests
• Building your “brand”
• Pre/During/Post Event Conversations
• Breaking news
• Asking questions
• Share good resources
• Sharing pithy statements/quotes
• Being “polemical”
Facebook functions in ministry?
• Encourage Community
• Whole (life) Church
• Groups (e.g. 20s30s)
• Give others insights into ‘church
life’ e.g. photo sharing
• Offer pastoral care
• *Youth: PM’s, CC parents/another
• Advertise Events
Blogging? Think About
• Who are you blogging for?
• How often can you blog?
• What style of blog will you use?
• What content can you produce?
• What do you want Google to find?
• Who else can you bring on board?
Children in Digital Culture
Image Credit: RGBStock
• “Jake told the executive that he never
goes directly to a brand like this man’s
newspaper or even to blogs he likes. ...
he reads a lot of news – far more than
I did at his age. But he goes to that
news only via the links from Digg,
friends’ blogs, and Twitter. He travels
all around the internet that is edited
by his peers because he trusts them
and knows they share his interests.
The web of trust is built at eye-level,
peer-to-peer.” (Jarvis, p.86, my
Jeff Jarvis speaking
about his 15-year
old son Jake
Identity, Values and
Image Credit: Stockfresh
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
• But in your hearts revere Christ as
Lord. Always be prepared to give an
answer to everyone who asks you to
give the reason for the hope that you
have. But do this with gentleness and
The Methodist Church social
• Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.
• Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and deliberation.
• Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive.
When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.
• Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation with
• Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember
that you are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your part
of it. Disclose your position as a member or officer of the Church,
making it clear when speaking personally. Let Galatians 5:22–
26 guide your behaviour (fruits of the spirit).
• Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of others
even where you disagree.
Bath & Wells Diocese 9
• Don't rush in
• Remember tweets are transient yet permanent
• Be a good ambassador for the Church
• Don't hide behind anonymity
• Be aware of public/private life boundaries
• Maintain a professional distance
• Stay within the law
• Respect confidentiality
• Be mindful of your own security
Don’t overthink. Running through committees,
endless drafts and approval processes to get a
response out there can cause far more damage than
good. As long as you have taken the time to assess
the situation and can take a rational, respectful
tone in your response, even an awkward response
is OK to start with, and buys you time to continue
to respond to the problem.
For the mouth speaks
what the heart is
Who are you?
• What are your values?
• What do you stand for?
• What is your ‘tone of voice’?
• What can you contribute to the
What do the fruits of the spirit look like
Image Credit: Kezi
Rev Prof David Wilkinson
God is a communicating
God: “In the beginning
was the word”.
God is extravagant in
communication – he is
not a silent God who
has to be tempted into
Image Credit: Durham University
• We are not selling something to the world that will
make more people like us, believe in our story, join
our churches. We are trying to be something in the
world that invites connection and compassion,
encourages comfort and healing for those in need,
and challenges those in power to use that power in
the service of justice and love
• (Drescher, 127)
We need to
spend time in
and then we
Just because you can …
doesn’t mean you should!
Image credit: RGBStock
Who might read it?
• Your Mum
• ‘The kids’
• The newspaper
• Your worst energy
What does it mean to share
Image Credit: The Worship Cloud
• If you are Hungry, Angry,
Lonely or Tired, step away
from the keyboard/keypad
and deal with that issue
• It seems obvious, but sometimes that
anger isn’t apparent until we see the hurt
reaction from our unintended victims, and
by that point the damage is done, with the
evidence there for all to see. And no,
deleting the tweets later doesn’t help (hello
Kanye West). At best you are going to end
up looking a bit silly.
“If an alien visited…”
… and all they had
to see was your
Facebook page (or
perception of your
Image: RGB Stock
The Church Front Door?
For many churchgoing is
no longer the ‘cultural
norm’ … online social
spaces …are now
effectively the ‘front
door’ to your church
for digital users, and
you ignore those spaces
at your peril.
Image Credit: Sxc.hu
Networks of Networks
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• The greatest single cause of
atheism in the world today is
Christians who acknowledge
Jesus with their lips and walk
out the door and deny him by
their life style. That is what an
unbelieving world simply finds
Cyber-Bullying: What does it
• Threatening or hateful text, email or chat messages
• Pictures or video clips, including ‘happy slapping’
• Silent or abusive phone calls
• Stealing a phone, and using it to harass others
• Nasty comments posted on websites or social media
• Blogging to damage the reputation of privacy of
others, including sharing personal data.
• Creating Internet polls such as “who’s hot”
• Forcing users to share messages, threatening ‘social
isolation’ for non-compliance.
Signs specific to cyber-
• Long hours on the computer
• Secretive Internet use
• Screen minimization
• Refusing to log on or answer phone
• Extreme possessiveness of phone, to
which constant nervous looks are
Nature of Online Bullying
• Feeling of no escape
• Fast: others get involved
• Permanency of the information
• No shame: not their fault
• Don’t threaten their online access
• Spend extra time together: time
• Nurture self-confidence
• Don’t respond
• Keep copies of messages as ‘proof’
• Understand how to ‘block’ accounts
• Talk to child re contacting school
• Think hard before talking to parents of
• Request webhost to remove
• Get phone number blocked
The bully doesn’t see the
distress that they cause, feels
safe from capture, and
protected by the technology,
able to say things that they
would never say offline.
ITV, February 2005
• One in five think sending a message in
cyberspace is less damaging than face to face
• Half the teenagers polled believe it is ok to
say things online that you would not in
• A third of youths say they troll because their
friends do so too.
Is it this simple?
• Remove their Internet and mobile privileges (for a
• Get them to write an essay on the dangers of
• Assign him/her a book to read about cyberbullying
• Assign him/her to community service or other
• Encourage them to apologise and take
Whatever you did for one
of my brothers or sisters,
no matter how
seemed, you did for me.
Some useful sites for those
• http://www.papyrus-uk.org (preventing young suicide)
• http://www.thetrevorproject.org (suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth)
• http://www.childline.org.uk/ (confidential helpline for those under 19)
• http://www.beatbullying.org (advice about cyberbullying, and
opportunities to report your own situation, or someone else’s)
• http://twloha.com/vision (US based site for those struggling with
depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts)
• http://www.athinline.org (MTV site for those suffering digital abuse)
• http://www.itgetsbetter.org (for those suffering LGBT abuse)
• Ferguson, a professor from Texas
A&M who researches technologies’
effects on human behaviour:
“Youth today are the least aggressive,
most civically involved, and mentally
well in several generations .”
• ‘Imagining the Internet: Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives’,
Pew Research Center,
• No surprise, then, that
Facebook is no longer a
place for uninhibited status
updates about pub antics,
but an obligatory
communication tool that
younger people maintain
because everyone else does.
• All the fun stuff is
happening elsewhere. On
Does digital offer (life)
Image Credit: RGBStock
Can social media be positive?
• Wide range of information
• Increased connectivity and collaboration
• Educational benefits
• Global nature of online
• New creative opportunities
• Learning criticality
• Increased accessibility for those with disabilities
Can social media be used
• Post friend’s suicide, Teenager set up a Twitter account giving
compliments to others online:
• After school Code Clubs are running:
• A child developed a high-capacity battery with fast recharge:
• Child produced cheap test for pancreatic cancer:
• Pledge to use the Internet for good:
• Fun with technology: http://www.aplatformforgood.org/summer
• As a youth leader, it is a very convenient way
of messaging and informing members of our
youth group, and inviting them to events and
[connecting with] each other when we're not
together… Sadly for your child to be the only
one in a group NOT to have access to
Facebook can itself be a matter for isolation -
they may not get invitations to youth events for
example, and ridicule and bullying for being
the 'odd one out'. (Parent, 16-19)
• Parent’s permission before contact
• Consent for use of photographs
• Catchall statement for registration
forms – assumes opt-in unless opt-
Ref: Paul Windo, Urban Saints
• Use clear, unambiguous
abbreviations that can be mis-
• Take care with sign-offs
Ref: Paul Windo, Urban Saints
• Leaders/Young People develop agreed
• Line manager // access to social media
• Second leader ‘in the room’
• Save messages/disclosures for use later
Ref: Paul Windo, Urban Saints
• 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.
Ref: Paul Windo, Urban Saints
• Work-specific device?
• Don’t keep images of
young people on personal
• Define curfews
Ref: Paul Windo, Urban Saints