Sunday, May 24, 2009

Papal double-take

A couple months ago, the Pope warned against the overuse of social networking sites. Social networking sites can "foster friendships and understanding," but overuse can potentially create unfortunate systems of isolation, exclusion, and marginalization:
Benedict welcomes as a "gift" new technologies such as social networking sites, saying they respond to the "fundamental desire" of people to communicate.

But he also warns that "obsessive" virtual socializing can isolate people from real interaction and deepen the digital divide by excluding those already marginalized.

As mentioned, the Pope, however, does view social networking sites as a "gift," tapping into our innate, relational characteristics. With this latter point in mind, the Pope recently has encouraged fellow Christians to use the internet to promote the gospel:
The pope promoted the use of the digital world as a means of making the Gospel known in remarks to 20,000 pilgrims at his weekly audience Wednesday.

He says that the Internet has brought about change in the way news is distributed and how people relate to each other. Benedict urges young people to use the potential of the Internet to build a better world through bonds of friendship and solidarity.

And, in an attempt to "woo" young believers, the Vatican has launched a new Facebook application, Pope2You:
Under a papacy that has suffered communication woes, the Vatican is taking new, technologically savvy steps to bring its message to social networking sites and smartphones.
The new Web site is the latest update in the Vatican's efforts to broaden the pope's audience and reach out to young people.
Just don't stay on the site obsessively.

1 comment:

Teri said...

The Pope is right. But for people that live on a farm...their only hope is the internet. With gas prices high, and the economy going down the tubes, what else is there?

Plus, I wouldn't have the chance to say, "Hey" to you... and learn about Jess having a hangover. LOL

Thanks Drew.