Digital technology and social media
This type of influence and participation – using computers, smartphones, Facebook groups, e-campaigns, apps, online forums and text messages – can be a quick, convenient way to reach large numbers of people. And it can make getting involved or giving feedback easy.
What are the benefits of using digital technology in lived experience work?
This type of activity is often used to test topics and themes to see how they work in practice or whether they need further exploration.
Digital influence and participation is useful for people who find it hard to be in groups with others, or who may not be able to travel.
People can often stay anonymous, which gives them a safe space to feedback honestly.
It also creates a platform for wider circles of support, for people who've shared similar experiences.
Things to consider
How can you make sure the input is representative and inclusive? Bear in mind that digital engagement could exclude certain people, like those without access to technology, people with low levels of literacy or language skills, and people with visual impairments.
And how will you keep a check on things? You might need a moderator to monitor how people are using open forums, and make sure privacy settings are in place.
Influence and Participation methods have traditionally focused on person-centred, face to face meetings, focus groups and workshops.
In 2020, the global pandemic brought fundamental changes in our ways of working. We've had to make adaptations. Some of these have been extremely challenging for people facilitating events and for people taking part.