The papacy can seem anachronistic with the rapidly-evolving world of the Internet
, but Pope Francis seems to be rather in tune with the digital age. He offered some keen wisdom about the Internet and our lifestyle of digital communication in a statement today. But among the many quote-worthy bits, the best one is that he called the Internet “a gift from God”.
He noted that the Internet “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity”, and he underscored the importance of being connected by cautioning that people who aren’t connected to social media are at risk of being left behind. He’s not talking necessarily about luddites or hermits-by-choice, but more about those who don’t have access to the Internet and its treasures. (He would get along well with Julius Genachowski
Image credit: Edgar Jimenez/Wikipedia
Pope Francis also had some sage words for how we should view and handle communications online. “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,” he said. “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.”
In further saying that communication is about humanity interacting and not about technological advances, the Pope asserted that anyone who communicates becomes neighbors, and our digital interactions should grow into “true encounters”. “We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves,” he said.
Who knew the Pope
had so much wisdom to drop on us about the Internet?