When I shared the terrible things social media are doing to our lives, I started by quoting Plato’s fears that writing would hurt our memories.
He was right — it did. But of course writing did much more than that: It put an order and discipline to our thinking that not only made us better story-tellers (read the oral-tradition Epic of Gilgamesh some time), but helped order our brains for higher-level thinking as well.
It is the same with the Internet. Yes, it has rewired our brains in unfortunate ways — but it has also made available a world of information, inspiration and opportunity.
In his address for this Sunday’s World Communications Day Pope Francis sorts out the good that exists despite the bad in new media.
He wants Catholics to enter social media “with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.”
“Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world,” he says.
Yes, let’s. But how? A Pope can’t really give the practical tips necessary for that to make sense. I don’t think he spends much time on Pinterest, for example. But he does lay out principles, and it is the laity’s job to apply them, so here’s an attempt ….
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