I’m not sure about ‘beyond Twitter’, about being ‘post-Twitter’ as I’ve yet to tweet. This will come as no surprise to those, who suffer my frequent lapses into verbosity. This admitted I might still wear with pride the T-shirt, Never Texted, Never Tweeted: I’m the Discourse Kid! Although as this slogan is less than 140 characters I suppose it counts as an embryo tweet. And I do despair at the shallowness of Obama, Brown , Cameron and Co. twittering vainly about vital social policy issues. On the other hand Henry Giroux seeks to question my one-sided caution in a thought-provoking piece, The Iranian Uprisings and the Challenge of the New Media.
He suggests that:
In Iran, the state sponsored war against democracy, with its requisite pedagogy of fear dominating every conceivable media outlet, creates the conditions for transforming a fundamentalist state into a more dangerous authoritarian state. Meanwhile, insurgents use digital video cameras to defy official power, cell phones to recruit members to battle occupying forces, and Twitter messages to challenge the doctrines of fear, militarism, and censorship. The endless flashing of screen culture not only confronts those in and outside of Iran with the reality of state sponsored violence and corruption but also with the spread of new social networks of power and resistance among young people as an emerging condition of contemporary politics in Iran. Text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the Internet have given rise to a reservoir of political energy that posits a new relationship between the new media technologies, politics and public life. These new media technologies and Websites have proved a powerful force in resisting dominant channels of censorship and militarism. But they have done more in that they have allowed an emerging generation of young people and students in Iran to narrate their political views, convictions, and voices through a screen culture that opposes the one-dimensional cultural apparatuses of certainty while rewriting the space of politics through new social networking sites and public spheres.
All of which might seem an overly dramatic introduction to informing you about a forthcoming conference organised by Simon Stewart and our very favourite and always helpful ‘geek’, Tim Davies.
Beyond Twitter: Young People and Youth Work in a digital age
Thursday 24 September 2009, 10.00am–4.00pm
Catrin Finch Centre, Glyndwr University, Wrexham
Technology today is creating one of the greatest transformations ever seen in humankind. Technological turning points of the past came about progressively. People and social systems had time to adapt. This time around rapid innovations are coming upon us suddenly. This digital explosion has opened up a plethora of opportunities and challenges for society.
Professional youth work and emerging children’s and young people’s services have not been left untouched, but what are we doing to ensure that our work remains current in a technological age? From social media to digital exclusion, youth workers are faced with ever more complex and challenging situations that they are required to respond to.
This conference and open space event is the beginning of an extended conversation reflecting on how youth and community work practice can respond to the digital transformation of society
As the organisers argue, it’s great value at just £25 for youth workers, and £10 subsidised rate for students. So if you’re in youth work – they would love to see you there…
Booking details and online booking on the Glyndwr University Website here.