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Archbishop Pontificates On Social Networks

3 08 2009

Is the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales using his opposition to social networks as a way of building his own profile?  Archbishop Vincent Nichols has argued that MySpace and Facebook are the basis of “transient” friendships and can be a factor in suicide among young people as a result of relationships which have collapsed.  The truth is that young people are vulnerable to relationship issues wherever and however they occur.  

If the Archbishop, who was enthroned just two months ago as successor to the high profile Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor wanted headlines he got them.  He wouldn’t be the first Catholic cleric to capture column inches via Facebook.  Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples who openly takes a very different stance on social networks opened a Facebook site in November and within a few weeks gained  5,000 ‘friends’.  

A more useful contribution from the cloth came from Giles Fraser, the vicar of Putney who on the BBC Radio Today programme this morning, described social networks as “thin communities” which allow for freedom and social diversity where young people can “keep friendships alive”.  

I think the important issue here is the relevance and importance of the expertise.  When it comes to understanding new technologies and emerging communications channels we simply shouldn’t be turning to religious (or political) leaders for advice.

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One response

3 08 2009
citysocialising

We at CitySocialising.com wholeheartedly agree with this along with the Archbishop’s comments yesterday in The Sunday Telegraph that Facebook and MySpace are leading young people to seek “transient” friendships, with quantity becoming more important than quality.

CitySocialising is refreshingly all about “real friends in the real world” and was created to enable people out from behind their computer screens and into the face to face social fire. We know that real world friendships are far more valuable than online friendships and that interacting face-to-face with others is essential for a person’s emotional wellbeing.

Whilst the internet is a great tool to find like minded others and initiate new friend connections, it’s the offline meeting and socialising with these people and a shared history of experiences through which genuine friendships are forged. http://www.citysocialising.com

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