So, this afternoon, I completed a pre-record for Beyond Belief on Radio 4, to be live Monday 16th May, and afterwards on iPlayer. I was in the studio with Ernie (pictured here doing a couple of recording edits), and on the line were Shelina Janmohamed, Muslim activist, and Michael O’Loughlin, author of The Tweetable Pope – who posted the following:
— Mankool Chicago (@Mankool_Chicago) May 4, 2016
The questions that I had been asked to prepare for were as follows:
- How (exactly) is social media being used by Christian leaders/institutions/individuals?
- Has the use of/attitude to social media changed within churches over the last 10 years or so?
- Is there a danger of social media putting people on a pedestal/does it divert from ‘the real message’?
- Is there evidence that social media is being used successfully by religious groups for social justice?
- Do you feel there are good/bad examples of religious faith used online – or does the ‘anonymous nature’ cause problems?
- Is there a problem with religious trolling – what does it look like and is it problematic?
- [Programme then interviews Chris Juby re his @biblesummary project]
- What is your reaction to what Chris did – do such projects genuinely have the power to change people’s faith (journeys)?
- Has social media changed the way that people pray?
- Are people doing church in different ways, including just online?
- What do you think about tweeting in church?
- Has social media changed what is church?
- Are we witnessing the start of something new – what are the up & coming trends?
- Is there a pressure on those who are not tech savvy/don’t want to live their lives online to participate?
Some came up in the conversation, but the show will be cut down from the full conversation, so we’ll see what makes the cut!
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) 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.