Technology. The definition from the Dictionary (as cited from http://www.dictionary.com)
tech·nol·o·gy [tek-nol-uh-jee] noun:
1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
Everywhere we look at any time throughout the day we can see various types of technology being used. Various forms of Social Media have come forth from advances in the technological field. People are constantly texting, “plugged into our personal dj’s” (what one of my best friends calls iPods), chatting on cell phones, using laptops or iPads, etc.
First, let me be the first to say, I LOVE my gadgets. I hate to admit how lost I would be without my iPhone—I am always using it to check my e-mail, text, make phone calls, tweeting/updating Facebook, and of course, I love to play Angry Birds. But something dawned on me the other day. By using all of these cool methods of communication, are we causing more harm than good through these potential distractions?
People can use Facebook and Twitter for all kinds of things; information is passed and received much faster now because of it and now, in America, you are a minority if you don’t use some form of social networking. Another person who was a huge fan of social media? It was Blessed Pope John Paul II. He said in 1989 (which if you think about it, was waaaaay before Facebook even existed) on World Communications Day:
“The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man in
the street can grasp a religious message but how to employ the communications
media so as to let him have the full impact of the gospel message” Source
However, we live in a time where we are told to do or say whatever we want. This is where Blessed Pope John Paul II challenged us. He encouraged youth to use social media to help spread the Word of God and to evangelize to our peers. This can mean posting status updates about your Catholic faith or by just setting a good example when online. Like St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Examples of this can be watching what we say: no cussing or gossiping, engaging in arguments, or cyber-bullying.
I took twelve of my students to the annual Diocesan Catholic Youth Conference this past weekend and was overjoyed to see them all post status updates talking about their experiences and being excited about their faith. They took the theme of the conference “Unafraid” to heart and by posting these updates and maybe evangelized some of their friends. They have responded positively to John Paul II’s challenge to use technology for the good and to further advance the message of Christ through new channels of communication.