Rome (Italy). We are members of each other (Ep 4:25). From communities to communities. This is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the 53rd World Day of Social Communications that will be celebrated in 2019.
Talking to the whole person to live the community dimension, even in the time of social media, is the great challenge. There is a need for dialog and encounter.
The theme “underlines the importance of giving back to communication a broad perspective, based on the person, and emphasizes the value of interaction always intended as dialog and as an opportunity to meet with others”. This calls for “a reflection on the current state and nature of Internet relationships beginning with the idea of community as a network among people in their entirety.
To what extent can we speak of a real community in the face of the logic that characterizes some communities on social networks? The metaphor of the network as a solidarity community implies the construction of a ‘we’, founded on listening to the other, on dialog, and consequently on the responsible use of language.
“Too often we separate the intellect from the heart and soul. And this is the virus that Francis called ‘cardiosclerosis’. The heart hardens. And we do not realize that we are separating ourselves from ourselves and we lose or risk losing the most beautiful part of our nature, which feeds on the beauty of encounter, dialog, relationship, sharing, communion among us and with God. Speaking of the “risk of our time”, says Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, it is to “build tribes instead of communities”. Social networks have transformed the communication society into a society of conversation. These are the places where our identities are formed, especially those of the youngest. Conversation can build true, beautiful, solid relationships.
From this point of view, “communities on social networks should be interwoven with an authentic, true relationship between people who are whole, even if they are experienced in the incorporeal dimension of the digital, which in any case is real and not virtual.
It is therefore necessary to move from communities based on false relationships, on a false representation of reality, on fake friendships that can be erased with a click, to the beauty and also to the fatigue of the truth and of the encounter.
The choice of the theme for the Message of 2019 confirms the attention of Pope Francis to the new communication environments and, in particular, to the social networks where the Pontiff is present in person with the account @Pontifex on Twitter and the profile @Franciscus on Instagram.
His social presence offers an alternative, a different point of view. Give back to the Net its most beautiful meaning. Not something that traps you, but something that frees you, and makes you an instrument of freedom! Communion is the best antidote to all that is false.
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where hatred is, let me bring love; where it is offense, let me bring forgiveness “.