The Need to Engage in Social Media

"The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul's exclamation: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel' " (1 Cor 9:16)

~ Pope Benedict XVI, May 16, 2010, 44th World Day of Communication Message.

Social media is the fastest growing form of communication in the United States, especially among youth and young adults. Our Church cannot ignore it, but at the same time we must engage social media in a manner that is safe, responsible, civil, and purposeful.

As Pope Benedict XVI noted in his message for the 44th World Day of Communication, this new form of media "can offer priests and all pastoral workers a wealth of information and content that was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and greater communion in ways that were unthinkable in the past."

The Church can use social media to encourage respect, dialogue and honest relationships - in other words, "true friendship" (43rd World Communication Day Message). To do so requires us to approach social media as a powerful means of evangelization and to consider the Church's role in providing a Christian perspective to digital literacy.

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines social media as "... media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to transform and broadcast media monologues into social media dialogues".

 

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SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY AND PROTOCOL

 

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ACCEPTABLE USE AND RESPONSIBILITY POLICY FOR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS