Some insightful questions on social media

June 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

While doing some research for a new project, I came across this insightful paragraph from a June 2011 speech by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The speech was given to commemorate the 45th World Communications Day and is titled “Truth, Proclamation, and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.” It includes some questions that might help students — and teachers — discern proper responses to the expanding empire of the Internet and social media:

The new technologies allow people to meet each other beyond the confines of space and of their own culture, creating in this way an entirely new world of potential friendships. This is a great opportunity, but it also requires greater attention to and awareness of possible risks. Who is my “neighbour” in this new world? Does the danger exist that we may be less present to those whom we encounter in our everyday life? Is there a risk of being more distracted because our attention is fragmented and absorbed in a world “other” than the one in which we live? Do we have time to reflect critically on our choices and to foster human relationships which are truly deep and lasting? It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives.

Full speech here.

Posted by Matt Emerson.

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