Pope Francis described the internet as something truly good, a gift from God in his Message for World Communications Day
Roman Catholic Leader, Pope Francis says the internet is a “gift from God,” citing togetherness with people all over the world despite distance barrier as one way the internet has been of most benefit to humanity.
In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all. Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity. The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another. We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect.
Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.
The Pope who looks so much different from his predecessors believes that some of the world’s problem could be traced to the advancement of technology. The bulk of the problem is not centered on technology itself, but how the world interacts with it as well as the emergence of Social Media which makes dissemination of information happen fast and without control.
This is not to say that certain problems do not exist. The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests. The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings. The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind.
The pope went further, insisting that if technology and Social Media is used in the right way, it would be beneficial for everyone.
While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.
The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people. The impartiality of media is merely an appearance; only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others. Personal engagement is the basis of the trustworthiness of a communicator. Christian witness, thanks to the internet, can thereby reach the peripheries of human existence.
While traditional atheists will be quick to disagree with the Pope that the internet is indeed a “gift from God,” because the internet itself didn’t originate from the Roman catholic community who were ruthless to the development of Science. One can easily pick-point the highlights of what the Pope has got to say: which includes the ability of persons all over the world to connect and love which is the fundamental principle guiding the church. What do you think?