It’s been good to chat to David Giles about some of the directions that his research is taking, and here’s an opportunity to participate. His about page says:
Putting Your Faith in Social Media is a research project by David Giles, a postgraduate Media Communications student at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey, UK – supervised by Dr Yuwei Lin, an experienced practitioner and researcher in social media methods. David is also the Web and Social Media Manager for The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London, who has represented the organisation at the Christian Resources Exhibition and at the Premier Digital Awards, as well as speaking on social media at Salvation Army events.
Building on his 2015 study into social media use surrounding The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary ‘Boundless’ congress, Putting Your Faith in Social Media seeks to explore not just an out-of-the-ordinary act of corporate celebration, but people’s everyday expression of faith on social media platforms. Are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their contemporaries seen as ‘valid’ ways of self-expression with regards to one’s faith? Or is there a reluctance to use these technologies for ‘sacred’ purposes?
You have the opportunity to participate in a survey – currently only available for Christians, but soon there will also be an opportunity for those of other/no faiths to have your say, and the results will be widely shared!
I’m looking forward to seeing the results, and expecting that I will still be looking at faith (and other third sector) organisations and their social media practices in the longer term, building upon six years experience working in ‘the sector’, from the perspective of someone of the Christian faith myself.
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.