Have you noticed a drop-off in some of your conversations this week? Yes, Lent started this week, and according to OpenBible, social networking is the number one thing that people tweeted that they were giving up for Lent! This reflects the negative perception of social media that persists amongst many: that it causes us to disconnect from those around us, and that we have become ‘slaves to machines’, but in 2013 Caroline Criado-Perez said
“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.”
Within the world, and even more strongly in churches, face-to-face is held up as the gold standard against which every other form of communication should be measured, rather than taken on its own terms. For many, however, being able to connect with known friends and family, typically via mobile devices, can be more important than engaging with strangers who happen to be in their geographical vicinity. The most recent Ofcom report indicated that 45 per cent of UK communication (excepting face-to-face) is now undertaken on mobile phones. There’s a certain nostalgia for a time when we all ‘chatted to each other’, but in the past, we buried ourselves in newspapers and books, and now phones.
Read the full article, which was commissioned.
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.