Some say there’s no hiding place for anyone now when it comes to social media. We can all stand up and have a voice whether it be for business, charity, academics, politics, celebrities and now a surge in social media religion.
Although some would say certain religions border on being a cult and maybe the way we are often preached at can be a little ‘in yer face’ there is no getting away from the fact that social media provides a new fast and effective communications outlet for religious hollering. It provides one way channels to get into the minds of the vulnerable but on the flip side a great way to promote good and well-being and some special causes.
This week the Pope has had his say on the matter and he seems keen to promote the ‘wise’ use of social media tools. This probably means we will see more church groups using social media to engage followers and tap into a whole new breed of soul searching individuals.
Don’t hold your breath though as it may still be a while before you are tagging pictures of the Pope after a Friday night out on the tiles or giving the Holy One a cheeky poke on Facebook.
The Holy Father emphasized that new social media should not be greeted with “facile enthusiasm or skepticism.” Instead, he said, the Church should learn to use these new media effectively.
This new language has drawbacks, the Pope added—particularly for those who use the social media without understanding how it operates:
The risks involved are, of course, visible to everyone: the loss of inner depth, superficiality in relationships, the flight into emotionalism, the prevalence of the most convincing opinion over the desire for truth.
In this context, the Pope said, the task of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications is “helping people in positions of responsibility in the Church to understand, interpret and speak the ‘new language’ of the mass media in their pastoral functions.”
So if you are a member of your local church group then you now have permission to get tweeting for starters as long as you’ve read your social media AtoZ road-map.
Finally my advice would be not to mention the ‘Virgin Mary’ in your profile or I can assure you that you may attract you the wrong kind of followers from those ‘needy’ users with automated ‘keyword search’ software.
Good luck, comments welcome.