A New Way of Communicating
A New Way of Communicating
On June 5 the 45th World Day of Social Communications will be celebrated. It will have as its theme “Truth, proclamation, and authenticity of life in the digital era.” From the commentary of Benedict XVI there emerges a positive vision on the possibility offered by the new technologies to communicate the Gospel today. The Holy Father invites us to make use of the social networks and considers them to be “a great opportunity for believers, inviting Christians to be united with trust and with awareness and creative responsibility with regard to the networks of relationships that the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to fulfill the desire to be present, but so that this networking may be an integral part of human life.” He therefore suggests that we be “coherent witnesses, in one‟s own digital profile and in the world of communicating choices, preferences, judgments that are profoundly coherent with the Gospel”.
The message brings out in a lucid manner an understanding of the great cultural and social changes of our time, guided in great part by the “profound transformation taking place in the field of communications”. “The new technologies are not changing merely in the way of communicating” says the Holy Father, “but in communication itself, because of which we may say that we are faced with a vast cultural transformation...There is a coming to birth of a new way of understanding and thinking, with surprising opportunities to establish relationships and to build communion.”
Young people, the “natives” immersed in the new culture of communication, are profoundly living the influences. And they are experiencing “the anxieties, the contradictions, the creativity proper to those who are open with enthusiasm and curiosity to the new life experiences.”
The Holy Father has us reflect on a few challenges found in an era of change that tend to compromise the balance between relationships mediated by technologies and interpersonal relationships, those which are face to face. “Who is my neighbor in this new world? Does there exist the danger of being less present toward those whom we meet in daily life? Do we have time to critically reflect on our choices and to nourish human relationships that are truly profound and lasting?”
Which is the “human” place in the digital era ? Benedict XVI is communicating to us that “it is important to always remember that virtual contact cannot and should not be substituted for direct human persons on all levels of our lives” and that “direct human relations are still fundamental in the transmission of the faith!”