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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pope harps on Internet emergence

In commemoration of the 45th World Communications Day, Pope Benedict IX has urged communicators, especially of Catholic denomination to ensure the use of digital tools in proclaiming the truth and authenticity of life.

In a message to the occasion Pope Benedict shared last Sunday, some of his reflections that were motivated by a phenomenon characteristic of our age: the emergence of the internet as a network for communication.

“It is an ever more commonly held opinion that, just as the Industrial Revolution in its day brought about a profound transformation in society by the modifications it introduced into the cycles of production and the lives of workers, so today the radical changes taking place in communications are guiding significant cultural and social developments,” he said.

The new technologies, the pontiff noted, are not only changing the ways people communicate, but communication itself.

“So much so that it could be said that we are living through a period of vast cultural transformation,” he asserted.

Also, he said that this means spreading information and knowledge has given birth to a new way of learning and thinking, with unprecedented opportunities for establishing relationships and building fellowship.

According to him, New horizons are now open that were until recently unimaginable.

“They stir our wonder at the possibilities offered by these new media and, at the same time, urgently demand a serious reflection on the significance of communication in the digital age,” he said.

This, the Pope said, is particularly evident when confronted with the extraordinary potential of the internet and the complexity of its uses. As with every other fruit of human ingenuity, the new communications technologies must be placed at the service of the integral good of the individual and of the whole of humanity.

“If used wisely, they can contribute to the satisfaction of the desire for meaning, truth and unity which remain the most profound aspirations of each human being,” he said.

In the digital world, he said, transmitting information increasingly means making it known within a social network where knowledge is shared in the context of personal exchanges.

“The clear distinction between the producer and consumer of information is relativized and communication appears not only as an exchange of data, but also as a form of sharing,” he explained,

This dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations.

On the other hand, this is contrasted with the limits typical of digital communication: the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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