Dr Bex Lewis explains to Jonathan Symcox how social media had an “overwhelmingly positive” impact on her battle against breast cancer:
I was privileged this week to speak with Dr Bex Lewis at an #HonestTalks event focused on social media run by Fourth Day PR. A senior lecturer in digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and expert on the digital landscape, you would expect her to extol the virtues of social media.
But she does so with a very good reason: it helped her through a recent battle with breast cancer.
“I don’t know how I would have coped ten or so years ago when there was no social media, the medicine was rubbish and there was no Netflix,” she says with a smile.
“I spend a lot of time on social media already so it’s a natural environment for me – I tend to see it as a space where I live part of my life. And cancer has now become part of my life.
“It allowed me to deal with it stage by stage, particularly the Facebook groups I was a part of. I found it quite cathartic.”
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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.