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Academic Speaker

[ACADEMIC] Social Media, Peer Surveillance and Spiritual Formation

I may still be tweaking this on the train on the way up (only 30 mins session), but this is the presentation I’ll be giving this afternoon as an invited speaker at the Surveillance and Religion Network workshop in Edinburgh:

Social Media, Peer Surveillance and Spiritual Formation from Bex Lewis
Categories
Digital

Advert: Fotoshop by Adobé

I know this is an old one, but as I think about Photoshopped Selves:

Categories
Digital Event

[ABSTRACT] The Digital Age: Photoshopped Selves?

Abstract accepted for Ecclesia and Ethics II

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“If Christianity is really true, then it involves the whole man, including his intellect and creativeness. Christianity is not just “dogmatically” true or “doctrinally” true. Rather, it is true to what is there, true in the whole area of the whole man in all of life.”

(Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, Ch. 1)

“I share, therefore I am.” – Sherry Turkle, psychologist and MIT professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology.

The term ‘Digital Age’ has been increasingly used over the past few years, and some of the most recent statistics (September 2013) show that the largest social network (Facebook) averages 1.19 billion monthly active users.[1] Common belief is that first impressions are made within about three seconds, drawing on appearance, body language, and mannerisms, and that these first encounters are largely impossible to reverse in future.

Increasingly first contact is being made online, and Turkle refers to the ‘second self’ or ‘photoshopped self’ that we produce online – a deliberately created self in which we share only those things that make us look good (or part of the crowd). In an image-focused world, critique has been made of the airbrushed culture in magazines for years, but the digital brings this capability to every user, encouraging us to alter our ‘digital skin’ in both our published images and in what we share or don’t share online. Genesis 1: 27 says “So God created human beings in his own image”: (how) has the digital pushed us towards projecting perfection, and is it causing dis-satisfaction with who we are created to be?

[1] http://wp.me/p1vfs3-2GK

Categories
Digital

11 Stories About #DigitalParenting 17/12/13

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news… and I love this piece about a ‘tech-deprived childhood‘:

News on digital tablet.

  • Link between cyberbullying and teen suicides oversimplified, experts say: One of the threads tying their deaths together is a cause-and-effect link made by the media, politicians and parents between persistent bullying and the victim’s decision to end their life — a phenomenon that generated its own buzzword — “bullycide.” It is something Todd and health experts say oversimplifies teen suicide and cyberbullying at the expense of recognizing the complex set of mental health issues that are usually at play in many cases. (In another article, teens speak out
  • Left to Chance With the iPotty: Snarkiness aside, I think we need to reflect loudly about how we make choices as parents and consumers. Corporate America and big box retailers may not have your back in this regard. As these baby human beings’ brains are rapidly making connections (young children make 700 synapses [connections between brain cells] per second during birth to 2 years), they are simply learning how to think. Do you really want the iPad doing the instructing?
  • I Might Be Mediocre, But at Least I’m Honest: So why is it that we parents feel the need to hide our realities from the world, especially social media? Check any mom’s Instagram or Facebook feed, including my own, and it looks like we are running a regular Montessori. The kids are smiling and sun-kissed. There’s paint and Legos and fresh fruit dripping from their chins.
  • Why You Need to Get Involved in Your Child’s Digital Life: Responsible parental screening of a child’s behavior has always been a good idea. But in today’s age of increasingly advanced technology, parents face unique challenges. While there certainly are advantages to instant access of virtually any kind of information, there are also formidable risks associated with our digital age that can be quite damaging to kids if parents don’t exercise appropriate levels of control. Put another way — damage can be done if parents don’t do their job.
  • Weston man faces child porn charges: Microsoft regularly uses automated scanning tools to monitor photos and other content uploaded to SkyDrive to ensure that users’ accounts do not contain illegal files, according to the company’s website. Suspected child pornography is automatically reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
  • Tarter: Author touts printed page in the digital age: The author also suggests that e-books have their place. “The e-book is here to stay,” he says, pointing to savings in time, space, trees and student spines (replacing heavy textbooks). But Trelease isn’t afraid to point to shortcomings in new technology, as well. “Research clearly shows that we read more slowly (6 to 11 percent) from a screen than from paper,” he said.
  • 7 Practical Tips for Parenting Digital Natives: “What are your recommendations for balancing technology use with socializing face-to-face?” This question was directed to a panel of psychologists at our recent high school PTA meeting. A universal parenting dilemma in our social media landscape, if ever one existed post-1999.
  • Drawp: Imaginations Soar With Inventive Art App For Kids: With this release, Drawp is launching a collaboration with talented artists from around the world who will create coloring pages exclusively for the Drawp app. The objective is to provide children with a constant stream of high quality art and to expose them to different styles in order to stimulate their creativity.
  • Europe Children Between 4 and 12 Spend Almost 3 Hours a Day in Front of TV: Children watch, passively, television, computers, mobile phones or ipads. Given this reality, a team of British pediatricians asserts in a research released in the medical journal “Archives of Disease in Childhood” that children under three should not be in contact with so many digital displays. For kids between 3 and 16, they suggest that a maximum of two hours a day should be set. The experts argue that spending more time in front of screens can cause damage to the physical and cognitive growth of children and overweight, heart problems, attention deficit or lack of empathy.
  • Internet a safe place for those who play safe: “Although the majority of kids are doing good things there is still a small percentage of people doing bad things and those predators are the people we need to protect our children from.”
  • iPad holder seat for babies sparks outcry: An advocacy group has called on toy maker Fisher-Price to stop selling a baby seat designed to hold an iPad at the front, saying the product encourages parents to leave infants alone to watch screens that could be harmful.

and BT offers a parental control filter, a Mum talks about finding another mum of a child with a rare condition, whilst programmes in New Zealand seek to diminish the ‘digital divide’.

Categories
Digital

9 Stories About #DigitalParenting 06/12/13

Keeping track of a number of stories relating to ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age‘ in the news:

  • n2lASIqEmotions in the digital sphere and the effect on future generations: We live in a strange age now where a large proportion of our daily interaction tends to take place online. This affects almost every generation, from children through to adults, most of whom are constantly digitally interacting with others, whether via business emails or social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Given how much time and effort we put into these digital portals, have you ever thought about how much they might be changing the nature of human interactions in general?
  • ‘Tis the season for marketers to think more like children: Technology has had a hugely liberating effect on the youngest in our society. Touch, gesture and voice navigation have opened up a whole new world of learning and possibility. And this has big implications, as technology has also liberated marketers to engage, excite and delight in new and profound ways. But has the marketing industry kept pace?
  • Making Kids’ Tablet Time More Meaningful: During busy times like the holiday season, many of us parents turn to our mobile devices to help manage our kids while we manage… everything else. Engaging the services of a digital babysitter is not something to boast about, but it doesn’t need to be anything to be ashamed of, either. So, how can we make the most of the time our kids spend with technology over the holiday break?
  • Tips on how to clean electronic devices when you have sticky-fingered kids: My two little angels (3 years old and 19 months) are obsessed with watching videos on my laptop and playing games on my phone. Unlike me, they are not the least bit concerned that their hands might be covered in some weird combination of chocolate and sand. Nor do they hear my pleas not to drink their orange juice in the vicinity of the keyboard.
  • New Selfie-Help Apps Are Airbrushing Us All Into Fake Instagram Perfection: Much as in real life, the only thing worse than looking zitty, wrinkled and tired is looking like you’ve sought help. If you get caught editing a photo, “it’s very embarrassing,” the 18-year-old said. “People are hyperaware of not wanting to seem fake in their pictures. As much as they edit them, it has to come off as natural.”
  • East Kilbride pupils experience the digi magic: The huge interactive touch screen table brings a whole new meaning to digital participation and makes the digital world a truly immersive experience. A key component of the Scottish Government’s Digital Exclusion agenda, the new digiTable is aimed at encouraging people to use the internet in new and imaginative ways.
  • In digital age, where do parents set boundaries?: “Technology has allowed me to do a lot of things my mother couldn’t do. My mother was gone from the house a lot. It was hard. Technology has allowed me to create my own schedule,” Shlain told CBSNews.com. But while Shlain praises technology, she acknowledges that she must set boundaries for her children, who are ages four and 10. Aside from the Technology Shabbat, she limits her children’s daily screen time.
  • Why Social Media Has Value for Children: First off though, kudos to the Academy for bringing to the forefront the debate about children and media in the digital age. We can’t avoid the topic nor should we, unless we want our kids to become the failed technology experiments perpetrated by our own fascination with all things digital. I think Dr. Marjorie Hogan, one of the co-authors of the policy, offers a valuable prescription by encouraging “a healthy ‘media diet’.” That’s a great starting point, albeit with the challenge to define what is “healthy.”

and Kobo wins acclaim from parents, too much technology for baby monitoring?, and see the technology that Santa requires these days.