In 1940, who would have thought it possible for man to walk on the moon? In 1970, who would have believed he could set his finger on the pulse of the world and be only one click away from everything? Is this a blessing or a curse? When it comes to technological advances, it is quite common to encounter two extremes: total rejection or unconditional approval. For some, it seems as if the world only harnesses technology against God and the Faith. For others, it is a divine blessing which allows us to transmit our thoughts, our beliefs, and our love at the speed of light. The prudent attitude probably stands in the middle.
The utter condemnation of social media may be a reflex of self-preservation, and understandably so. This condemnation usually turns out to be a good tactic for a while. But can it be the final answer to form the men and women of tomorrow who are going to be plunged into the “Church of Google”? There must come a time when mom and dad, religious and secular educators alike, will offer guidelines, warnings, and appropriate advice to those under their charge, thus gradually making them take responsibility for their own decisions.
One such educator explained that “in a college environment, dealing with young adults, our role is not to impose but to guide, set rules, and check. The adult needs to stand on his two feet and be responsible for his acts, firstly, in a loosely protected environment and then, on his own, in the real world of work or of modern university.”
This issue of The Angelus is intended to acknowledge the existence of a new and invasive lifestyle, to appreciate its advantages, and acknowledge its pitfalls. Thus forewarned, it should help us form and inform our conscience and that of those entrusted to us.
“These new possessions and new instruments which are within almost everyone’s grasp, introduce a most powerful influence into men’s minds, both because they can flood them with light, raise them to nobility, adorn them with beauty, and because they can disfigure them by dimming their luster, dishonor them by a process of corruption, and make them subject to uncontrolled passions.” (Pius XII, Miranda Prorsus on movies and TV)
Fr. Jürgen Wegner