[WORKSHOP] Social Media Masterclass with London Witness

London Witness is a new initiative, flowing out of Capital Vision 2020, to encourage more positive and proactive engagement with the whole range of media, from newspapers and television to blogs and social media. We want to train and equip a small group to change the public conversation about God in London. Those selected will have the potential to communicate well about Christianity and what it means in their daily lives.”

I was invited to run one of their sessions, and here’s the material from today:

[ARTICLE] Little Gamers in @ChildrensworkMag

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Smart phones and tablets have placed gaming at the centre of our society. You don’t need to spend long on public transport to see someone playing ‘angry birds’ or ‘2048’, but what does this mean for our children? Are video games evil or could they help child development? Dr Bex Lewis investigates…

 I still remember the excitement of my first go on a very basic game on a BBC computer (the one with the red button) at primary school in the 1980s.

Subscribe (or free 30 day trial) to read full article.

[SPEAKER] Children, Church and the Digital Age Conference (4th June 2015)

Raising Children in a Digital Age – Day Event
4th June 2015 @ City of Edinburgh Methodist Church
Time: 10am-3.30pm
Cost: £12.50 includes lunch and refreshments (and free access to evening programme 7-9pm)
Evening programme only is £5 (book on separate link)
Speaker: Dr Bex Lewis

Whether you are a church leader, children’s ministry practitioner, or someone trying to resource your church in this area, you may feel the responsibility for helping keep children safe online but also want to know how they and you can use it to its full advantage.

In this day course, developed from Raising Children in a Digital Age (Lion Hudson, 2014), internet scare stories and distorted statistics are put into context, clear and sensible guidelines are offered. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your hopes, fears and experiences with others in a similar situation, and study examples of how others have used social media successfully with children and young people.

[VIDEO] What effect is the digital revolution having on our everyday lives?

[BOOK REVIEW] This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (re online trolling)

30596_This-is-Why-We-Cant-Have-Nice-Things-Mapping-the-Relationship-Between-Online-Trolling-and-Mainstream-Culture-by-Whitney-PhillipsThis looks really interesting:

Why do trolls exist? How can such hostile online behaviour be understood intellectually, culturally and socially? Put another way: is the notorious Pedobear character “lulz” (hilarious) or an ambivalent tour guide through child pornography?

For her recent doctorate, communications scholar Whitney Phillips conducted an ethnography of these groups by entering the trolling subculture. Drawing on that research, This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things considers whether trolling is a deviant subculture or a more universalised online practice. As is common in digital media studies, while Phillips argues for the generalisability of trolling attitudes and practices, her dataset is restricted to the US.

Her book, which will be useful for theorists of digital ethnography, considers the subcultural origins of trolling (2003-07), its golden years (2008-11) as well as a transitional period (2012-15). Phillips is concerned with “the self-identifying, subcultural troll”, drawing a distinction between these practices and simple online cyberbullying. Her challenge was to study this community but not to “replicate trolls’ racist, sexist, homophobic, and ableist output”, which prompts a wider intellectual question about how to create a space for researching social patterns that cause harm to others

Read full review, and see piece I wrote on social media trolling last year.

A weekend away with @Activateyrlife

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Last year I was asked if I would speak at the Activate Your Life weekend. I wasn’t able to last year, but this year, I accepted, and gave a talk on ‘Everyday, Ordinary Women – Online‘… and had some fun with the photo booth:

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Staying at the De Vere, once I’d finished my conversation with the regional police about engaging with youth re internet safety, I took advantage of the comfy bed for a nap. This was much of the theme of the weekend, and aside from the fabulous food, enjoyable company, I really enjoyed the lack of pressure to partake in all the sessions/seminars, whilst the grounds and the swimming pool were available for use… I may just have had a few more naps!

The keynote sessions were all well attended, and thought provoking – I do believe every speaker referred to Imposter Syndrome at some point, and my session had an engaged audience, with good questions and feedback afterwards! I enjoyed myself – look out for next year’s weekend away on the website.

See tweets from the weekend (yes, many of them are mine – it’s how I take notes!)

Today is all about #NoDietDay and #JeSuisEd

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I’ve just finished up my frozen (keeps for up to 2 months) portion of the BBC’s Sausage and Butterbean Casserole. Very cost-effective and easy to make – I’m not a fan of parsley, so substituted some cheese (whatever needed using up does, and I tend towards strong flavour cheeses anyway)…. #delicious. Spot which of Beyond Chocolate’s 10 Good Reasons to Stop Dieting I’m enjoying today on #nodietday, an international day designed to celebrate body shape diversity and healthy lifestyles, and to raise awareness around dangerous and irresponsible diets…

1. You’ll stop putting weight on

2. You will save LOADS of money

3. You will stop stressing about food and what you eat

4. You will stop binge eating, emotional eating, comfort eating, pigging out, treating yourself, overdoing it, eating all the time…

5. You will meet some awesome women and be able to talk about what it’s REALLY like with people who know what’s it’s like because they’ve been there

6. You could become an expert at…whatever tickles your fancy

7. You will feel about a hundred million times better about your body

8. You get to eat proper food, that tastes good! 

9. You’ll stop beating yourself up and be so much kinder to yourself

10. Taste the freedom!

Meantime, back to social media and politics, just to note, how elegant do any of us look eating…. catch up on the #JeSuisEd hashtag – proper ground-up campaign – I’m not even a Labour voter, but I like the way people have got together to push back at The Sun!

P.S. The #JeSuisEd campaign reminds me of the kickback against ‘Women Who Eat on Tubes’ – eating used as a way to shame people, and the internet fighting back!