Introduction to Engaging Young People Online Think Tank

by James Fawcett March 27, 2018 A

Young People. Online. Engagement. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? That was my first thought when I approached this topic. Sure there are some issues to navigate such as correct platform, Safeguarding and timings. Yet, beyond that what else could there possibly be to find out?

Online activity is so much more complex and yet simple than I could have ever thought. The biggest hurdle that was in the way was my limited perception of what Online is and means. To many it appears to be a separate sphere of life, another realm within which people (especially Young People) reside. It is a domain of wonder and fear. However, the reality is, that it is an extension of our physical world. It is an area where the world plays out, in a plethora of different mediums, formats and guises.

We need to understand that this isn’t some ethereal plane of reality but more of a companion territory, a colleague of our work that we do in this world. When we engage online, we don’t just abandon what is around us (though sometimes it may feel that way), if anything we are digging deeper in to what is around us. We use it to research the places we are going, learning about the values, quality and experience that we can expect as we arrive there. We connect with others, who (bizarrely) are real physical people too. We learn about them and hear what they have to say. We connect online to share and prepare and plan. We can use it organise physical meetings, that can then be conveyed to the wider world; who we are, what we do.

This is still a layman’s understanding of the online world. Not all will agree, some will drastically disagree. Yet, it is with this understanding I am hoping to steer this ship as we navigate how we engage wit young people online. We will be discussing the ins and outs of different platforms of mediums, the use of Online for co-ordinating learning and sharing. We will be looking at Safeguarding, both four ourselves and for young people. We will be looking at what it means for young people to be digital creators and Disciples. We will be discussing culture and tone. We will be discussing healthy use of digital technology and physical-digital balance in our lives as examples for others.

I really hope that this conversation can help to steer through this new and exciting world we live in. As we bring up our generation in Holiness and Discipleship we can help to form and grow each other into His likeness, in all areas of our lives. So please, if you would like to discuss more, join us or drop me an email. I really want to hear what you have to say.