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Manchester: Are You Really My Friend? Exploring Digital Relationships

November 12, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


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.


November 12, 2015
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
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