Social media has been one of the strongest influences in forming public opinion in the modern world. Its impact has often been more than that of broadcast media such as television and we can only hope that with the active participation of the developing nations it will continue to grow unabated for the foreseeable future till it becomes the most dominant force. The power of social media has been seen in the recent past in countries such as the Egypt and India. No wonder important public figures, celebrities are increasingly using this sure-shot and all encompassing form of communication to express their opinions and making themselves heard; and seen.
Most recently Pope Benedict XVI has been found spreading his word of good and invoking the common people to do a bit of evangelism of their own on the social networks. He has been off late one of the most popular and noticeable figures on the social networking sites; especially on Twitter with a dedicated number of followers and retweets. He is asking the faithful to keep God in the context in their everyday conversations appealing to “those we wish to invite to an encounter with the mystery of God’s love.”
In a message on the occasion of the World Communications Day, titled ‘Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization’ the Pope suggested that social networks are very much a part of everyday life and not a parallel world as many believe. He added, “the significance and effectiveness of the various forms of expression appear to be determined more by their popularity than by their intrinsic importance and value.”
His message which encompasses all social networking sites is clearly addressed towards a more responsible interaction online and sharing the world with other people in a more tasteful and respectful way.