Pope Francis waves during a special audience for the Jubilee of the workers of the shrines in Paul VI hall at the Vatican, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile
The head of the Catholic Church and renowned champion of all things awesome has proclaimed that the wonders of modern technology are “a gift of God which involves a great responsibility.”
The admittedly tech un-savvy 79-year-old went on to put to bed the notion that online interaction is somehow less ‘real’ than traditional means of communication. “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic,” said Pope Francis, “but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal… the Internet could be used to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.”
Although some other commenters are putting a cynical spin on this sentiment, calling modern communicative tools a gift of science rather than some almighty being, there’s no reason to take the Pope’s words so literally. The technology at our fingertips truly is marvelous and incredibly powerful. Our voices can now be heard across the globe, and the words we wield affect people’s lives in a profound way. From the ugliness of cyber bullying to the strange humanity of PostSecret to the unlimited possibilities of Zombocom, the internet truly is a potent gift.
“Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups,” said Pope Francis. It’s a hefty responsibility, but every day that we use these technical wonders, we have to choose whether we’ll be using them to bring each other closer or drive a wedge between us.
What are your thoughts regarding this idea? Let us know in the comments below!