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Manchester: Are You Really My Friend? Exploring Digital Relationships
November 12, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pmFree
I’ll be joining the event at 11.30am for an hour, in which I will contribute some material from my book Raising Children in a Digital Age from the section about friendships in a digital age (my slidedeck).
The Event as a Whole:
Join Liz Hardwick of DigiEnable to debate with Professor Cathy Urquhart, Professor of Digital and Sustainable Enterprise at MMU Business School, and Dr Jenny Cole, Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University for a half-day debate on the nature of digital friendships.
Step changes in technology have influenced the way friendship are built and maintained. 62% of UK adults (Ofcom, 2014), and 81% of UK 13–18 year olds (YouGov, 2014) now own a smartphone, increasing the options for digital friendships on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
Although there are concerns over the increasing dominance of online friendships, a growing evidence base suggests digital friendship can impact positively on offline friendships (Davis, 2012). This event aims to give our audience a chance to debate these ideas in light of their own experiences, with input from an expert in the field of digital communication, and a social scientist. Questions will include:
- Is it possible to trust someone if you have never met them face to face?
- How authentic are online friendships?
- Is authenticity being redefined by the digital environment?
Each contributor will present their thoughts on the effects of digital communication on friendships, before opening the discussion to the audience, with the use of Text and Twitter walls and an ‘Askit Basket’ to encourage participation.
Event requires booking.
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.