Media & Press Media - Text

[MEDIA] The ‘sharent’ trap – should you ever put your children on social media? in @Guardian

I had a chat with Emine Saner on Wednesday morning, which resulted in quotes in the final paragraph of the article The ‘sharent’ trap – should you ever put your children on social media? in The Guardian:


[MEDIA] “O click, all ye faithful” in @Guardian

The other week I had quite a decent phone conversation with Harriet Sherwood, journalist at The Guardian. Some of that conversation made it into an article about religion getting involved online:

In September the C of E appointed Adrian Harris as its head of digital communications to drive its strategy forward. Harris had previously led digital communications teams at Bupa, Tesco and the Conservative party. He said there was “a huge amount of untapped potential”.


Bex Lewis, senior lecturer in digital marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University, said she had “clapped my hands very loudly” at the appointment, but argued that the church was still slow to adapt to and embrace the digital age.


“At the top [of the church] it’s like trying to turn round an oil tanker,” she said, although the C of E’s engagement with Pokémon Go players earlier this year had been encouraging. “But there’s some really interesting stuff happening at the bottom.”


Christian meme sites such as Anglican Memes and Jesus Loves You were popular, Lewis said. “Fun is important. The general perception of religion is that it’s overly judgmental, and we can show that’s not the case.”


The diocese of Lichfield appointed the church’s first online pastor this year, a move that other dioceses were likely to follow, said Lewis.

Read full article.


Fears for the Humanities in British Universities.


Interesting article in the Guardian this weekend – always lots to think about when we think about the purpose of the humanities and/or the way it is funded:

Currently fixed in the crosshairs are the disciplines of the humanities – arts, languages and social sciences – which have suffered swingeing funding cuts and been ignored by a government bent on promoting the modish, revenue-generating Stem (science, technology, engineering, maths) subjects. The liberal education which seeks to provide students with more than mere professional qualifications appears to be dying a slow and painful death, overseen by a whole cadre of what cultural anthropologist David Graeber calls “bullshit jobs”: bureaucrats hired to manage the transformation of universities from centres of learning to profit centres. As one academic put it to me: “Every dean needs his vice-dean and sub-dean and each of them needs a management team, secretaries, admin staff; all of them only there to make it harder for us to teach, to research, to carry out the most basic functions of our jobs.” The humanities, whose products are necessarily less tangible and effable than their science and engineering peers (and less readily yoked to the needs of the corporate world) have been an easy target for this sprawling new management class.

Read full article.


Imposter Syndrome via @oliverburkeman


I’ve been thinking about Imposter Syndrome a lot recently – particularly in relation to the debates about why there are less women speakers – where I think the problems start far lower down than up in the speaker arena, and we need groups such as ‘Gathering of Women Leaders‘ who are offering spaces for women to meet together – including seeking ways to provide training/encouragement to women in the Christian world.

So I had a quick Google and found this helpful piece:

Two US sociologists, Jessica Collett and Jade Avelis, wanted to know why so many female academics opt for “downshifting”: setting out towards a high-status tenured post, then switching to something less ambitious. Contrary to received wisdom, their survey of 460 doctoral students revealed that it wasn’t to do with wanting a “family-friendly” lifestyle. Instead, impostorism was to blame. They also uncovered a nasty irony. It’s long been known that impostorism afflicts more women than men – one of many reasons that institutions match younger women academics with high-ranking female mentors. But some survey responses suggested those mentors might make things worse, because students felt like impostors compared with them. “One said she suspected her mentor was secretly Superwoman,” Science Careers magazine reported. “How could she ever live up to that example?”

Read the full article in The Guardian, where there’s the call that those who are in senior positions (or perceived senior?) speak about this more – I was only really given the confidence to continue with my PhD once my (female) supervisor told me about imposter syndrome, and I feel I can ‘sit with it’ most of the time, and just keep trying to do my best. It reminds me that the most inspiring sermons are always those who say “I’m still trying to think this through” … one of my crappy jokes for workshops – “there are more than 50 shades of grey in this debate”!

I find it helpful to think about the comment that the higher one goes in a meritocratic industry, the more one expects to be ‘found out’ (something Emma Watson also feels)- as my first book comes out in February, it’s really scary putting that stuff out there – knowing some people won’t like it… and is the way of things, they are the most likely to be vocal about that! I feel it every time I stand in front of a workshop, or speak from the stage … but most of the time I think it’s helpful – encourages me not to just to give a ‘lazy talk’, and remain on my mettle! So let’s encourage each other (focus where possible on the positive), and hear most critique in the way it’s meant – to encourage us to produce the best that we can…


Think before you press 'post' online!

hit-enter-1-1035516-mThis is such a powerful piece, and captures much of what I think:

But Gale’s bullying and childish tactics are not the worst parts: it’s the audience, the followers, the media, cheering on, welcoming the suffering and distress of another innocent person because she had temporarily been in prior distress herself (again, according only to Gale).

Cyberspace and digital platforms are not free for all spaces that have no moral repercussions; they matter, because words matter. Gale’s actions directly affected another person, and they appear to be fuelled by the “sick love” people have with digital nastiness. It’s as if people believe there are no repercussions for calling her names, for laughing at her.

But there are repercussions. It’s just that most of us have never been the target of such systematic and bullish tactics. The laughter will cease when that does, and we’ll wonder how we ever laughed at all. Don’t support people like Gale. Do something Gale didn’t: be a better person than those who are causing you distress.

Read the full piece in The Guardian, and let’s have less of this (which jeopardised someone’s offline job – though to be fair the organisation needed to have a more co-ordinated response policy!), and more of this in which everyone is in on the joke (I’m for inclusion over exclusion)!