Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The fact that the Pope isn't jumping on the Internet makes me very happy, not unhappy as some react (see Whispers for a somewhat disgruntled take on it)

This is not unrelated to my previous post. I would disagree that the Successor of Peter should be spending time in front of a computer screen or text messaging or whatever. Perhaps instead of seeing this as "yet another Vatican media blunder" we should see it as the Pope saying something. There's no argument from silence, of course, but he has said enough by way of caution that we could read a bit into it. From the World Day of Communications:

"It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop on-line friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbors and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation," he stated. "If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development."

The irony of my posting this on a blog is not lost on me. I'm heading out to the world again now :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Put it down...

For a nice explanation of how I feel about cell phones, check out this video pointing out the ways that they are used. (My objection is not centered on that, but it is certainly evidence of a problem.)

We've all been in situations when someone opts out of whatever's going on, especially if there's awkwardness, to make a phone call or text someone. I've certainly done it a few times only to kick myself afterward. But what this guy says about it is right on and definitely how I feel if someone texts or calls another while we're hanging out-- "Anything coming out of this device is more important than you." Often I think it's just out of ignorance or lack of reflection; they don't mean to be rude. But.

Along these same lines, I have a certain amount of respect and love for those people who I know will almost never answer their phone or get to responding to an email right away. These facts seem to be serious affronts to a lot of people who've bought into this availability thing--"You are available to me at any time"-- but because I know that's not true- nor should it be- I see the so-called lack of communication as a sign that they are really being present where they are. (Which incidentally means that when I'm with them, I, too, get their full attention.) Seems a much more human way to be.